PFTC5 post-course blog post

i. What were your goals for the course in Peru? To what extent did you realize these goals? Please give specific examples if possible. We’d also like to know the extent to which covid-19 affected your ability to realize your goals.

My goals, for the PTFC5, were to gain knowledge about scaling-up plant functional traits with the use of UAVs and remote sensing techniques in a hands-on setting. I was also interested in leading a small project inside my working group. Finally, I wanted to extend my network and start collaborations with other scientists at the course. Sadly, due to a series of unfortunate events and the lack of redundancy in the equipment that was bought the first two goals were not possible. The third goal is in process, the leadership of the course assures me I will be able to use previous data to work with me and another member of my group has started with a project.

I am not sure how covid-19 affected my goals. The failure of the equipment and software were the main problems. I guess covid-19 prevented the group leader from continuing the search for new equipment while we were in the field. Also, as a plan B, the students from my group and I migrated to work with other groups to learn other methods. I joined the carbon fluxes group, and it was a great experience, sadly, due to the evacuation my work with them was interrupted.

ii. What did you learn about yourself during this course?

I learn that I can keep calm and contribute to the wellbeing of my group in times when it is needed. I also learn that I can communicate effectively about things that are not working well ( related to the project or on a personal level) in a proactive way, always trying to improve the situation.

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