11 June 2014

Send us a postcard from the field

Posted by Olivia Ambrogio

By Olivia V. Ambrogio

Science is one of the very few professions that involves fieldwork. This may not always seem like a benefit—especially not when low tide is at an ungodly early hour or you’re being devoured by insects while trying to record data—but for those of us who want to share our science with the wider world, it makes a great hook.

It’s exciting and eye-opening to see where people work, what questions they’re asking, and the journeys they take to get there. It reminds other scientists of the diversity of research and introduces members of the public to the fun, majesty, grubbiness, hardship, and wonder of studying science.

That’s why we’d like you to share your work, and your field locations, with us by submitting a Postcard from the Field to AGU’s new Tumblr site. (Submission details are at the bottom of this post.)

Here are a couple of examples:

death valley

Dear everyone,

Here I am in Death Valley, where the current temperature is 110 degrees in the shade (except there isn’t any shade). I’ll be spending the next three weeks studying patterns of alluvial deposits—if I don’t burn to a crisp first.

Wish you were here (with lemonade and an asbestos suit),

[NAME], professor at [INSTITUTION]



Dear everyone,

Antarctica is lovely this time of year! I’m getting some great ice-core data and really enjoying exploring this amazing world. The only thing is, I have this weird sensation of being watched…

Wish you were here,

[NAME], Ph.D. student at [INSTITUTION]



Here’s how it works: take a picture of your field site. Submit it, along with a short, postcard-style note like the ones above, to our Tumblr site, and tag it as a “postcard from the field”.

tumblr example


Once you’re at the submission page, choose “Photo” from the drop-down menu of submission types:

tumblr submission 1


Then upload your photo, include your postcard text in the caption area, and check the “postcards from the field tag:

tumblr submission 2


We’ll share your postcard on Tumblr and link to it through all our social media sites to show everyone just what kinds of cool work our members are up to.

– Olivia Ambrogio is an AGU Strategic Communications Specialist and coordinator of AGU’s Expert Outreach Network