You will be amazed at what you see, well most of the time. Hi everyone, my name is Max Plichta and I am a junior at The University of Colorado in Boulder. This summer I am working with pikas, with Chris Ray and the amazing pika team. My project for this summer is to conduct observations on pika behaviors in their natural habitat. I take a seat and watch a pika for about 45 minutes writing down everything that he or she does. Whether that’s grabbing a comically large amount of plants in their mouths and scurrying back to their haypile or hiding from me underneath the talus. Regardless what my pika is doing, after sitting still for awhile I usually see something new, sometimes it’s a new activity from a pika that I have never seen before, just this last week I identified a cheek rubbing behavior that I was mistaking for licking rocks. Other times I get to see some other alpine animals like marmots, weasels or even a hawk moth, my new favorite insect you should definitely google an image. Other times I don’t see anything at all, but I get a spectacular view.
I love working out in the field because I get to be outside all day and see things that some people are not able to see. I get to work with other people that appreciate the open space and all the things you can see in the field. If you enjoy the outdoors and are interested in the sciences I suggest spending a summer in the field, not only will it be an enjoyable experience but I guarantee that you will see things you have never seen.
~ Maxwell Plichta, Pika Team-Colorado