Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Earthwatch Team MAGnificent: Day 7

Today was our last field day *sniff* with Team Mag-nificent, and it truly was a magnificent day. We’ve been very fortunate with the weather for this team, with most days being overcast so finch catching and observations were just a touch cooler than if it had been sunny days. The EG team came back in the afternoon buzzing with excitement, and we quickly found out why: they had caught 30 birds! With that bumper morning, we stayed at the station in the afternoon to enter all the data. That evening, Luis showed the volunteers graphs using the data from the finches they had helped us capture and measure.

For the last few days, Luis, Diana, and I realized Team Mag-nificent was conspiring about something. There would be secretive huddles after dinner, mysterious trips to town during the breaks, and furtive glances at each other occasionally. Tonight, we found out what all the secrecy was about, and was it ever a treat! First, the Earthwatch volunteers made a team banner, with a magnificent G. magnirostris on it flexing its muscles. The banner is currently hanging proudly in our common area.

Admiring the Team MAGnificent banner

The Team MAGnificent banner
Second, the team made custom t-shirts with the team name and a wonderful design showing the radiation of Darwin’s finches. The team even made shirts for Luis, Diana, and me, which we proudly wore to dinner tonight. Third, the team had written a rap about their experience on the expedition and performed it for us. Lyrics included descriptions of the field work, quips about each of the volunteers and researchers, and refrains such as “De PI team are dynamite/Patience galore at every site/They must have thought, ‘Gee, they’ve past it’/What a surprise, they actually lasted!” We couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at the creativity of Team Mag-nificent, and we are sad knowing they are leaving us tomorrow.

Proudly wearing Team MAGnificent shirts at dinner on the last night of the Earthwatch expedition

Luis, Diana, and I also had a small present for the team, though we couldn’t possibly top what the Earthwatch volunteers had done for us! We assembled a photo collage of the team and gave each volunteer one. We will miss Team MAGnificent!

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