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CSIS Human+Nature Blog
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Lessons from the field

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:26am
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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

As glamorous and thrilling as fieldwork might sound, no field season is complete without a few tales, typically funnier after the fact. Here’s my attempt to impart some humor and share lessons learned after the emotional trauma subsided.

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A day in the field

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 3:24pm
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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

3:00 a.m.

My alarm goes off. I open my eyes and see the Heilongjiang sun starting to rise. I close my eyes just for a minute more… (Editor’s note – China, while geographically spanning five time zones, follows only one for unity. That means far eastern locales like Heilongjiang see daybreak early.)

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Back from, and onward to, the Orient

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:13pm
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July 19, 2017

Thomas Connor is a PhD student studying with Jack Liu. He's doing field work in and around Wolong, China.

My China fieldwork this year splits into two trips – June to August, then January to October of next year. These will differ from my previous trips in that this time, I am funded directly from government sources (An East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute [EAPSI] fellowship this summer and a Fulbright grant next year).

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Going where the questions are... not to mention the funding and position

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 4:22pm
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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

July 18, 2017

Once again, I am currently adjusting to the Chinese way of life. Thankfully, this is not my first rodeo in China. I spent two months here last summer, so I am hoping most of the culture shock occurred then.

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Waves of grain

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 11:53am
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July 13, 2017

Anna Herzberger is an MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability doctoral student studying soybean production the Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China and in the United States. She hails from the farmlands of Virginia, Ill.

My car packed with too many clothes, an extremely terrified cat and a live Kombucha culture, I headed west to my summer field site.

Oddly enough, my summer field site is also where I grew up.

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When in doubt, go to the library: Relearning what I thought I already knew

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 2:04pm
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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

May 15, 2017

 “Because that's what Hermione does,' said Ron, shrugging. 'When in doubt, go to the library.” 

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