This summer I have the honor to join the team in Iceland to document the research. And what a time to travel with the team under the National Geographic Society grant! With my background in computer science and experience working with Earlham’s marketing, my role in Iceland as a storyteller includes updating our WordPress site, creating a social media presence, interviewing current and previous participants, creating videos, taking photographs, and producing writings from time to time.
I came in with a good amount of experience in photography and social media management, but most of the work I did for the research team has been a learning experience. I learned to get around WordPress by adding a few design updates to the Field Science site, especially the importance of producing a responsive website (those that don’t break with zoomed in or zoomed out) for the users on different devices to effectively gain information. By interviewing Charlie P. and Craig E., I gained a better understanding of the history and development of Icelandic field studies. Interviewing Gail Connerley was especially interesting with her knowledge of wilderness travel and enthusiasm for the research. Gail had traveled twice to Iceland with the research team and introduced effective wilderness travel methods like assigning a different leader each day.
One of the best things about being a storyteller is all the gears we get to use for the research. Many drones, a few GoPro cameras, and a smartphone stabilizer provide a lot of space to create and be creative.
I often ask myself “what am I not doing right now that will make my future self regret?” I think I will regret not having made as many videos as I can and not having learned to fly the drones if I don’t.