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Sunday
Jun262011

Updates - Round 3 Weeks 9 & 10

Field data collection is complete! Our last day of field work was June 25, and now we are in the final stages of organizing samples for shipment and packing everything up in our cabana. Last weekend I was unable to write an update because we were traveling in San Cristobal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez. I went to Tuxtla to get my export permit for the last batch of fecal samples. All went smoothly except that the system wouldn't print the permit so I had to go back a second day to pick it up. I was also able to verify my plant identifications at the herbarium at EcoSur, a university in San Cristobal. It was a busy couple of days, but I left feeling like I got a lot done.

The last two weeks in the field were pretty routine. We got our samples without a problem...although there were a few days when the monkeys made themselves difficult to observe. Leaving the Balam group for the last time and then the Motiepa group was a little hard. We are both tired from all the hard work we have been doing, but the forest is so beautiful here, and of course, we enjoy being around the monkeys. We'll be so busy with last-minute errands here that I don't think the reality of the situation will hit me until I'm already gone. Even so, I'm trying to enjoy my last few days in Palenque and plan on taking one more walk through the forest before I leave.

Updates will probably be less regular once I start the labwork in Champaign. Labwork doesn't have exciting surprises like snakes. However, I'm confident that I will find some interesting patterns in my data. I will be sure to update as much as I can and to notify when anything gets published.

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