1. Simone: I commend you for reaching out to your peers for feedback. As a
graduate student, I would not have been able to be so vulnerable or to make
such a healthy choice.
2. I have had a fair amount of experience with babies & children in field
3. I camped in the (deep) VT wilderness with a 4-day old (Dartmouth Outing
Club). Bears were attracted to the tent, & I speculated that they were
attracted by the baby's scent(s). This idea, while plausible, is pure
4. Many decisions made by caretakers carry risks. Be aware of what risks
obtain under your conditions, and decide whether the potential costs are
able to be minimized and whether they are costs/disadvantages you are
prepared to assume.
5. I think that Malcolm is correct to remind you that you are incurring
risks--for you and your baby; however, babies are more robust and resilient
than his comments would suggest.
6. What interests me...and concerns me...about your case is the very
significant lengths some females choose to go to achieve their goals and,
sometimes, their dreams. For more than a decade, I have been interacting
formally & informally with young academic females (American)--both
heterosexual and homosexual--and, for those wanting a committed family life
(however defined), there are, quite simply, no easy answers.
7. In my experience, the combination of serious research science career +
family life is challenging even for females who are independently wealthy.
8. Whatever the tradeoffs, tactics, & strategies chosen, in my experience,
most (American) females wanting a competitive scientific research career
have to manage guilt; sometimes, shame; expectations & social pressures of
various sorts (e.g., Malcolm's well-intentioned response); research output
that may be considered compromised if not sub-par; undue, and, often,
self-imposed, stress, etc., etc.
9. It is my personal opinion that the major disadvantage for females in
research science careers concerns how to arrange UNDIVIDED, UNINTERRUPTED,
FOCUSED TIME...sometimes, for protracted &/or unpredictable periods.
10. My own "solution" was to surrender custody of my children; however, I
am not recommending this choice to anyone else and know, from personal
experience, that this decision is one that most females are averse to
thinking about.
11. May I suggest that you read Francoise Giroud's biography of Marie Curie
(available @ amazon.com)?
12. Francoise Giroud's autobiography, *I Give You My Word*, will introduce
you to the type of woman (not, in this case, a research scientist) who
loses a child and shows up on time the next day without appearing to "skip
a beat". I read this book when I was an early grad student, and it
permanently changed my life...long story.
12. There is rather general agreement among female research scientists that
theory (modeling, statistics, etc.) or bioinformatics (tekkie)
concentrations are more forgiving of the realities of the sorts of choices
some females elect (e.g., caregiving, committed partnership) than, say,
fieldwork or bench-work.
13. all best...I hope you can find a way to make it all work out to your

p.s. As a final *opinion *to listserv readers; I consider it, possibly,
irresponsible for major professors, mentors, parents, etc. NOT to advise
female graduate students of the disadvantages associated with certain
personal choices (marriage, motherhood) IF they desire competitive research

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: malcolm McCallum <malcolm.mccal...@herpconbio.org>
Date: Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM
Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Backpacking with an infant?
To: ECOLOG-L@listserv.umd.edu


I am not criticizing or anything, but I would not bring an 3 mo old
infant into a situation like this.
There are just so many things that can happen and you are so far from
any medical help.
I know a lot of people do it but I would strongly advise against it.
Not only is it a much higher risk for
the infant than an adult, or even a child, it also creates a higher
risk for yourself.

3 mo olds are very delicate.
Consider this, if something happened and the child got hurt seriously
or even died, can you imagine the field day the press would have with
it?  I can imagine some stories that could portray you in a much
different light than the loving caring parent you almost certainly


On Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM, David M. Lawrence <d...@fuzzo.com> wrote:
> A good backpack carrier is worth its weight in gold -- especially one
with a
> clip-on diaper bag.  Just take some extra plastic bags to wrap the diapers
> in.
> Here's a photo of me with a rig and a twerp 15 years ago:
> http://flic.kr/p/b6g6Lp
> Later,
> Dave
> On 4/8/2012 12:03 PM, Simone S. Whitecloud wrote:
>> I'd love to pick up some pointers on how to bring my 3 month old into the
>> field. I work in the alpine zone, so cool temperatures, wind and rain are
>> the issue. Any favorite gear items you found helpful? I'm already finding
>> she is totally soaked by the time we get to the peak from my own sweat.
>> Know
>> where to buy wool onesies? Tips on packing out dirty diapers?
>> Thanks for your input,
>> Simone Whitecloud
>> PhD Candidate, McPeek Lab
>> Dartmouth College
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------
>  David M. Lawrence        | Home:  (804) 559-9786
>  7471 Brook Way Court     | Fax:   (804) 559-9787
>  Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | Email: d...@fuzzo.com
>  USA                      | http:  http://fuzzo.com
> ------------------------------------------------------
> "All drains lead to the ocean."  -- Gill, Finding Nemo
> "We have met the enemy and he is us."  -- Pogo
> "No trespassing
>  4/17 of a haiku"  --  Richard Brautigan

Malcolm L. McCallum
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
School of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri at Kansas City

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