After reading over the blog entries, it seems like I’m one of the only interns lucky enough to be working in the same physical location as my primary mentor. As an added bonus, that location is the gorgeous Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is located in amazing and amazingly weird Ithaca NY.
The lab is a great place to be, and not just because of the natural beauty in the surrounding Sapsucker woods. In the domain of citizen science/ public participation in scientific research, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is possibly the single entity that has been doing the most scientifically rigorous work for the longest period of time. As a result, the associated campaigns (such as eBird) serve as a sort of standard—not necessary as programs to duplicate, but as important benchmarks to which other programs are compared. Because there are posters up all over the lab, I’ve gained exposure to some really interesting work just by walking from the kitchen to my cubicle with my morning cup of coffee in hand. Equally valuable are the insights that I’m starting to glean from listening to others discuss the Lab’s work, particularly in relation to things that need to be improved. It’s very enlightening to hear what a domain expert believes they could be doing better and it points to compelling directions for future work in PPSR.
Less academic highlights include seeing a snapping turtle the size of a rugby ball while on a lunchtime walk through Sapsucker woods.