Gamboa 2014 Thesis Field Season


Having successfully defended my Proposal in February 2014, I am conducting my final field season for my PhD. This is the longest field season where I will be down in Panama for a full 3 months to test out and evaluate the Digital Media theories I have developed over the years of my research.

This year I will have three main projects, designing an ant sensor, hosting a hiking hackathon, and filming a music video for my dissertation:

Transcontinental Hiking/Hack - From June 26th to July 5th, I have organized an expedition across Panama. The main goal is to design digital-biological field technology entirely in situ. The context in which a technology is made drives its design. Conventional development of digital technologies, however, typically occurs in climate controlled laboratory surroundings, and not the harsh environments of many […]
Dissertation Music Video - One of the main Side projects for my 2014 tenure in the rainforest will be to shoot a music video which somehow shares the thesis of my PhD research. I was enthralled when I first started my PhD three years ago and Dr. Becky Arundale pointed me to the “Dance Your PhD project.” I knew […]
Arboreal Ant Sensor: Main Project Summer 2014 - Background: Funding After a couple years of trying to pitch lofty, abstract concepts for funding from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, I changed up my strategy with great success! I went from rejected proposals such as “Give me money so we can do large scale exploratory performances with crazy technology in the jungle so that […]

Here are my journal entries for the season:

Balboa to Camino De Cruces (Hiking Hack Day 1 Part 1) - Stuff did not come together until the absolute last minute. Up until 4am packing, waking others up at 5am to load equipment into Mani’s van. We sorted the food at 9pm last night, but forgot to load any of the stuff that was in the fridge. Before the van rolled off I had to run […]
Baggage Issues - Since this is my first time out of the country (Canada doesn’t count), and my first time doing any sort of backpacking sort of adventure thing like this, Andy asked me to write a “very short” piece on the process of getting my shit together for the trip. Hahahaha. Leaving aside my 6 vaccinations, and […]
Savage Dogs versus the Jungle - This weekend Gamboa hosts some sort of national ultimate Frisbee tournament. I’ve been told that teams come from all over the country for some reason to play out here in the middle of nowhere.   Peter had told me stories of this tournment from the past two years, but I had been out of town […]
Comfort and Labelblitz -     Like most aspects of this year’s field mission, one of the strangest continual feelings I have is that of comfort. The previous two years kept me in a mad daze struggling to bounce around scientists and sneak space for myself to setup places for electronics and coding. Now I feel like all these […]
Discovery Center Run - Peter and I found the fabled Discovery Center late last year when we went to pick up tools for his experiments and supplies for giant ant puppets in our performance last year.  The store is, more or less, a combination Target / Lowes with a couple of aisles of just strangeness. It was amazing to […]
Transcontinental Hiking/Hack - From June 26th to July 5th, I have organized an expedition across Panama. The main goal is to design digital-biological field technology entirely in situ. The context in which a technology is made drives its design. Conventional development of digital technologies, however, typically occurs in climate controlled laboratory surroundings, and not the harsh environments of many […]
Dissertation Music Video - One of the main Side projects for my 2014 tenure in the rainforest will be to shoot a music video which somehow shares the thesis of my PhD research. I was enthralled when I first started my PhD three years ago and Dr. Becky Arundale pointed me to the “Dance Your PhD project.” I knew […]
Gamboa 2014 Thesis Field Season - Having successfully defended my Proposal in February 2014, I am conducting my final field season for my PhD. This is the longest field season where I will be down in Panama for a full 3 months to test out and evaluate the Digital Media theories I have developed over the years of my research. This […]
Arboreal Ant Sensor: Main Project Summer 2014 - Background: Funding After a couple years of trying to pitch lofty, abstract concepts for funding from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, I changed up my strategy with great success! I went from rejected proposals such as “Give me money so we can do large scale exploratory performances with crazy technology in the jungle so that […]
Transcontinental Hiking / Hack Announcement - We are recruiting field biologists for the upcoming Transcontinental Hiking / Hack. This will be a 9 day hiking workshop through the Panamanian forest going from the Atlantic to the Pacific taking place from June 26-July 5 2014. The primary goals of the project are to: Design technology for studying animal behavior in situ. Conduct […]