Similar to many ecologists, my love for being outside and desire to understand the natural world are closely linked. Currently, my field sites include Kansas, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia–all exotic places in their own way. My own college experience researching in exotic places shaped my desire to be an ecologist and a professor (read about my adventure here: http://www.nafsa.org/Content.aspx?id=34258). So, I feel very fortunate that I often have the ability to have students accompany me. Though we work hard, our field trips are also filled with playful exploration of–and appreciation for– awe-inspiring landscapes!