By Carrie Schwarz

Carrie Schwarz received her PhD in Ecology from Penn State University
in 2006. She is currently employed by two tiny people who think that
fairy shrimp are way cooler than sea monkeys. Carrie and her family
currently reside in the midwest, although the rising stacks of packed
boxes in the house remind them of their swiftly approaching move to
the pacific northwest.


It is early on a rainy March morning. My daughter, Klara, and I stand together – holding hands in the midst of a circle of people we do not know. Rain drips off the tip of her nose and she catches it with her tongue as she waits for the formalities to end and the fun to begin. The formalities in this case consist of everybody in the circle introducing themselves, but for a six year old ready to romp in the woods this small act might as well be measured on a geologic time scale rather than passing minutes.…