Sniper Leaf

Post classification: 
Flora and Fauna
Fieldnotes

We were in Hinoba-an, a municipality in the southwestern half of Negros Island. The mission was to try to collect the first genetic samples in the world of a burrowing species of lizard first described from the western half of Negros. To survey the habitat in the municipality during our visit, we hired a local tricycle driver to take us around during the day. Tricycles or pedicabs are dirt bikes that have had small carriages attached to their bodies.

March Summary

Post classification: 
Adventures Afield
Fieldnotes
The word of the month for March was exhausting! I spent 26 days traveling through several islands in the central Philippines. I have created a little digital map to summarize the trip. We went from Manila to Cebu Island, then traveled to southern Negros Island, northern Negros Island, Bohol Island, Lapinig Island, and finally back to Luzon.

The Infamous PAMB Meeting

Post classification: 
Investigation and Discovery
Fieldnotes
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It sounds more interesting than it actually is. PAMB stands for Protected Area Management Board. To access any protected national parks here in the Philippines, you first have to get the approval of the PAMB board. Unfortunately, these boards meet irregularly and only 2–3 times each year, and so you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Morning Coffee

Post classification: 
Adventures Afield
Fieldnotes
I can’t lie, long field expeditions have a tendency to wreak havoc on your body. Not only are you in a constant state of exhaustion, but also you often have to deal the occasional absence of showers, laundry facilities, and yes, mirrors. There is little point to this entry other than Jason having too good of a hair day to keep it secret. So without further delay, please let me introduce you to my friend and field companion Jason Fernandez.
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Home Sweet Quezon City

Post classification: 
By Train, Plane, and Camel
Fieldnotes

I finally moved into my apartment in Manila. It only took four weeks to find and fill with enough furniture to make it livable. It is such a relief to be able to unpack and organize all of my supplies and comic books. The apartment is in Quezon City, which is just north of Metro Manila. To give you some reference, I was staying with my friend and collaborator, Arvin Diesmos, at his house in Las Piñas (just south of Metro Manila). The distance from my apartment to his house without traffic should take about 15–20 minutes.

Legend of the Hot Springs Resort

Post classification: 
Adventures Afield
Fieldnotes

One of the first sites I had on my schedule while in the Philippines was an island called Marinduque. It is actually just south of mainland Luzon Island (not that this description is helping for the 99% of you that don’t study in the Philippines). All you have to realize is that it is one of the closer islands to Manila. So as you guessed, it only took about 12 hours to reach our destination. Unlike our Aurora bus trip though, the Marinduque voyage was broken up nicely into four, three-hour segments—Bus, Boat, Bus, Jeepney...and water buffalo.

A Slow and Painful Reminder

Post classification: 
By Train, Plane, and Camel
Fieldnotes

It is not clear to me what point in time I became incapable of comfortably traveling long distances by bus, boat, and small, motorized jeeps. However, last week I was quickly reminded of just how old my overweight body feels at the ripe age of 28 (I really need to lay off the queso). I traveled with my friend and collaborator Dr. Arvin Diesmos to Aurora Province on Luzon Island. We are setting up our next site for the large KU biodiversity expedition planned for May and June of this year.

The Jet Lag Blues

Post classification: 
By Train, Plane, and Camel
Fieldnotes

Touchdown. I finally made it to the Philippines. Actually, I made it a few days ago after having spent a night in Hawaii. I highly recommend the Best Western at the Honolulu airport as a nice place to stay if you are only in town for 12 hours. They have waffles for breakfast! Once I reached the Manila airport I had to wait for quite a while for my three large duffel bags to arrive at baggage claim. Once the entire 170-pound shipment arrived, I was picked up by our close friend and collaborator, Dr. Arvin Diesmos.

Everything Under the Kitchen Sink

Post classification: 
Fieldwork How To
Fieldnotes

There is leaving for an expedition, and then there is leaving for a nine-month expedition. Where to begin packing is a question I am always asking myself. The airlines have not made it any easier. While we used to be able to check-in two enormous 70-pound bags, we are now only allowed two 50-pound bags. This means I will be leaving my car at home this year. I would say that I get a little too meticulous about packing. Everything has to be placed out on the floor organized by size, and then by color.

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