My 2019 summer was spent working as a research technician in the FluxLab conducting truck-based methane detection surveys in high agricultural density areas in my home province, Nova Scotia. In other words, I spent the majority of the summer driving by rivers and in valley roads that twist and wind through rolling hills of crops and farmland. Some survey routes led to capes with ocean waves tumbling against cliffs on one side of the road, and farmland with pastured cattle as far as the eye could see on the other.
I was thankful to always have the support and company of another lab member during the surveys. We would stop at local cafes to grab lunch between routes and explore parks, gardens, and historic sites with the time left in a day after our work was complete. In this down time, one co-worker in particular had a fondness for finding chaga on old birch trees. My summer responsibilities involved loading and unloading equipment; roadside hardware-troubleshooting (usually involving a few tears); and ensuring data accuracy, but survey days felt unlike work.
Prior to this truck-survey experience, I was unaware of the diverse scenery Nova Scotia offers. I’m inspired and excited to plan future vacations in my home province, which will also benefit the local economy while reducing my carbon footprint in leu of not flying to other destinations. I feel more fortunate than ever to be able to call Nova Scotia home, and to have enjoyed this special part of the world in the Tacoma with lab members while sharing conversation, music, and laughter. (Not chaga though!)
These are a few of the most memorable views within the survey routes, and I hope others act on the opportunity to explore their own “backyard” and form pleasant memories.