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Field Equipment

Tim Carter
Ball State University
Dept of Biology

Dept of Biology




  1. Goals - I see the primary goal of a Masters of Science degree as exactly that – mastering science.  As part of that, I expect all my students to complete all the steps required by the Department and University to graduate.  The research that is required as part of that degree is no exception.  The research should be original and of good quality.  I do not expect the research to be at the level of a Ph.D.  But I do expect quality work and effort.  Traditionally a Masters degree takes 2 years to conduct.  However, all too often in the field-sciences students find themselves on the 2.5 – 3 year plan.  This is often a result of needing two field seasons which usually come in the summer.
  1. Learning/training/grades - I see all aspects of your time here at graduate school as opportunities to learn.  Many of these are formal opportunities such as classes, but just as many are informal.  These can be everything from working together in the field to discussing potential projects over lunch.  I expect my students to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible.  As for class work, I see classes as a means to learning information.  Grades are simply a representation of how much of that information you have retained.  It is not always the goal of the student to retain all of the information that is offered.  As such, I don’t expect students to get an “A” in every class.  Students should evaluate what level of knowledge they require from each course and work to attain that level.  I do expect however my students to get a “B” or better in most classes.

  2. Lab involvement - I expect my students to be active members of my lab.  I feel strongly that there should be a family-like atmosphere among those that work in my lab.  By design, my lab is a space for undergraduate and graduate students to gather and collaborate.  I feel strongly that becoming involved in all lab activities from research to community service is an important part of involvement in my lab.
  3. Cooperation - I expect my students to work together as often as possible.  Graduate school should not be a competitive setting.  Collaborating with fellow graduate and undergraduate students is a great opportunity to learn new and different methods and ideas.
  4. Time - I prefer not to micromanage students, I do not expect students to be in their office all day and everyday.  But rather I expect my students to manage their time as they see fit.  I do expect students to meet all deadline and obligations they have.

  5. Investment in your future - As an advisor I can not and will not hand you your degree.  You must make some personal investments in your degree - in your future.  This comes in a variety of forms.  Their is the obvious mental investments that come from your time commitments to develop and conduct your research.  But there is also the investment in your research to make sure you conduct the highest quality research you can.  This involves being personally ready to conduct research and doing what it takes to keep your research moving forward. 

    At the personal level you are responsible for getting yourself ready to conduct research.  You will be expected to supply your own personal equipment such as rubber boots, hiking boots, headlamps, and other field clothing. You will also be expected to use your own vehicle during your research if and as needed.  BSU does not have the vehicles and I rarely have the resources to provide a vehicle.  While I would never ask you to do anything that would damage your vehicle I will expect that you to drive as needed.  I am usually able to provide mileage reimbursement for fuel and wear and tear.  Regardless whether its is personal equipment or personal vehicle, you must be ready to face and perform in the field situations you will find yourself.

    From the equipment side, I will provide all general supplies and equipment needed to conduct your research.  However, problems and situations arise daily when in the field and I expect my students to do what it takes to keep the research moving forward. This would include emergency trips to the store to buy duct tape, bailing wire, batteries or anything else needed to keep things moving forward.  Of course you can expect to be reimbursed for any major purchases. But I also expect you to realize that this is your research and your degree and you can not rely on me entirely for your success.