Ciara Hovis's blog

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

As glamorous and thrilling as fieldwork might sound, no field season is complete without a few tales, typically funnier after the fact. Here’s my attempt to impart some humor and share lessons learned after the emotional trauma subsided.

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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

3:00 a.m.

My alarm goes off. I open my eyes and see the Heilongjiang sun starting to rise. I close my eyes just for a minute more… (Editor’s note – China, while geographically spanning five time zones, follows only one for unity. That means far eastern locales like Heilongjiang see daybreak early.)

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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

July 18, 2017

Once again, I am currently adjusting to the Chinese way of life. Thankfully, this is not my first rodeo in China. I spent two months here last summer, so I am hoping most of the culture shock occurred then.

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Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

May 15, 2017

 “Because that's what Hermione does,' said Ron, shrugging. 'When in doubt, go to the library.” 

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Feb. 21, 2017

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

A professor posed these two questions to my first year grad student cohort. And I realized I did not have a clear answer. If he asked me a year ago and replaced MSU with my undergrad alma mater, I would have fired off a response, no problem. I was a college student studying ecology and sustainability, with the goal of getting into graduate school to get a PhD. Since graduating this past spring, however, my mindset and situation has completely shifted.

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