Here I've attached a photo of the notebook Julia gave me in preparation for my journeys. Yes, it's a bandicoot, and yes, I am going to bring one back! Get excited!
I'm currently using another smaller, less artistic notebook for my packing lists, notes to self, etc... because making lists makes me feel like I'll be prepared, somehow, for a multitude of experiences that I can't forsee.
For those of you just tuning in, this blog will be my main method of communication about my travels over the summer and into the beginning of 2010. I will be working in Hilo, Hawaii from early June until the end of August, conducting field research on fragmented ecosystems. Lava flows have divided up a once continuous forest and my job will be to identify how the species diversity changes relative to fragment size. I'll be living in an apartment with the other research assistant and the professor, working about 40 hours per week, and hopefully getting scuba certified and sunbathing on the weekends! And now that I've taken about 5 geology classes, I think I'll be able to appreciate Mauna Loa that much more when I visit Volcanoes National Park.
Then I plan on heading to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor, and stop by Singapore on my way to Australia since I'll have about 3 weeks of freedom before I have to report in Brisbane for the start of the quarter. Luckily I made a friend while I was doing the spring break program in Taiwan, and he's agreed to show me around Singapore. I still haven't decided where I want to go after Singapore and before Brisbane; maybe Sydney? Melbourne? Tasmania? Fiji? Thailand?! Who knows!! I learned all the countries of Asia through the quiz on sporcle.com, so I now know many more options than I did when I first started planning this trip. But there are many things up in the air, so we'll see where the wind takes me.
I'm not quite sure how to post blog-style, but I hope this is in the generally correct format!