In the Field: Stories about venturing into the wild

In this week's episode, we bring you two stories about life in the field from a research cruise in the Chesapeake Bay to the trailer parks of rural Alabama.

Part 1: As a grad student, Liz Neeley falls in love with the order of science, but when she heads into the field, she’s forced to confront messy reality.

Liz Neeley is the executive director of The Story Collider. She is a lapsed marine biologist who will always name her printers after fish. For the past decade, she has been helping researchers around the world understand the science of science communication and find the courage to tell more stories about their work. She is a member of the advisory boards of Ensia Magazine and the CommLab at MIT.

Part 2: Criminologist Heith Copes gets close to his subjects when he studies meth users in rural Alabama.

Heith Copes, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Justice Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has served as the President of the Southern Criminal Justice Association and has been a visiting professor at the University of Oslo, University of South Wales, Aalborg University, and the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Tennessee in 2001. He is currently working with Jared Ragland on a photo-ethnography in rural Alabama. The project entails interviews, observations, and visual methods to document the lives of people who use methamphetamine in Marshall County, Alabama.

Heith Copes's story was produced as part of a partnership with Springer Storytellers. Find out more about Heith and his work on the Before the Abstract website.