Listen to a conversation between a student and an ecology professor.
I have some good news for you.
One of the students who was signed up for the summer term at the field station next year won't be attending after all. Your name's first on the waiting list.
So if you still want to do it, the space is available.
Oh, that's terrific!
You were also interested in doing an independent research project next summer, right?
Yeah, on salt marsh restoration, but that was before, when I thought I wasn't going to get into the field station.
Well, you can still do it if you want.
I looked over your application for the independent research project, and it looks strong. I approved it.
And you'd have even more resources there at the field station, so...
The field station and an independent study, but the summer term is a few weeks shorter than a regular term.
Well, it's up to you.
You'd have to work hard but I think you can do very well.
Professor Garfield, one of the professors over at the field station...
Yeah, I've heard of him.
Yes, well. Professor Garfield has been doing research on salt marshes for years, assessing human impact and methods of salt marsh restoration.
He is willing to oversee your project.
That's too good an opportunity to pass up.
I thought you'd say that.
When I spoke with Dr. Garfield, he suggested you take a particular course he'll be teaching here in the spring.
It's called advanced topics in salt marsh management.
The course looks at salt marsh ecology in depth and it also focuses on factors that stress salt marsh systems and how to assess and monitor the level of stress.
And that background information will fit right into my project on salt marsh restoration. This is so great!
Oh, one more thing. Do you know John Arnold?
Not really, but he lives in my dorm. Why?
John's another ecology student who will be the Field Station next summer.
I approved an independent research project for him, too. Initially, he had the same concern as you.
But anyway, his topic will be similar to yours.
He'll be researching how bridges and culverts1 that have been installed to allow tidal waters to move underneath roads between the sea and the salt marshes.
Well, they are often too small.
I guess that would result in not enough tidal water flowing into the marshes to maintain the natural vegetation, right?
Exactly, and he'll be looking at how to determine the right size.
So I was thinking he might be a good choice for a summer roommate for you.