I write this from the Santa Cruz Island Reserve, where I'm in the middle of a two-week stay, here to spend some time with the endangered/endemic island Foxes and the endemic/threatened island Scrub-jays, among other friends.
For the past several days I've shared the field station with a class from UCSB, a class that included four faculty, maybe half a dozen grad student TAs, and a whole lot of undergrads. It has been fun, although their energy has been hard to match, especially after dark.
The boat that ferries researchers out to the island has petty strict rules about what you can bring. And how much. I was limited to 60 pounds of personal gear/scientific gear, and an additional 10 pounds per day for food. I therefore limited my beer inventory to one pint per day for the duration of the trip.
Several classes have come and gone, and the latest one, an Environmental Studies class from UC Santa Barbara, was shocked to hear that I was on rations. They've been generous is sharing their own copious beverage supply with me. But today they left.
I've been out in a jeep all day, and the class caught the 1600h boat back to the mainland. When I returned to this lonely field staiton at 1900h, I found a note saying, "John, ENJOY the India Pale Ales in the walk-in fridge! Hope the island provides enough material for your book! Cheers! Sarah & UCSB EEMB 170."
The class left me one additonal pint for every day remaining in my stay. And a gift box containing one chocolate truffle for every evening.
And these were somebody else's students!
Cheers., EEMB 170!
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature