Giggles across the valley

[Ed.: Today’s blog post is written by CU Boulder students Emily Kim and Katie Souder]giggles_1An ordinary workday begins for the WARP surveyors.  Early morning sunlight slants across pale grain fields, illuminating silvery olive groves and delicately woven webs along the way.  The landscape awakens peacefully as field walkers on teams 1 through 4 begin surveying their first units of the day — and then singing and giggles bubble up in the distance.  “There’s Team 5,” the other teams say; now they can assess their position in the valley based on where they are in relation to the sound of our laughter.

A Day in the Life of Team 5


Step 1: Fight over the music in the cargiggles_3

Due to Mike’s lack of respect for the Backstreet Boys, the little blue Suzuki Swift contains more turmoil than is reasonable considering that that Mike falls asleep moments after the music begins.

Step 2: Park D.B. (our car, Donkey Blue) anywhere with zero regard for the surrounding terrain.


Our beloved blue stallion is a trooper who can handle even the most intense terrain!

Step 3: Pace off: KRS, KJO, MAS…. wait… where is Mike?


Our dear Michelangelo is secretly a mountain goat.

Step 4: Shout all the information back at Stephanie at the same time.


A typical Team 5 report goes something like this:

 Bearing? Straight.

Time check? 140… wait, what did you ask?

Background disturbance? I picked up a bunch of rocks.

Visibility? Crappy.

(“That’s not a number,” Stephanie says, time after time.)

Vegetation height? Krystyn’s head, Mike’s waist… so… shoulder?

Features? We saw a goat skull and a turtle!

Really, putting up with us is quite the feat. Stephanie has developed a keen ear when it comes to listening to us.

Step 5: Scare a director.


For some reason, we manage to startle our directors every day with our odd, energetic conversations and activities. Isn’t it normal to sword fight, sing, and brush each other’s hair every morning?

Step 6:  Try to take a picture that Stephanie does not ruin.


This is a Herculean labor.

Step 7: Send Emily off to her death…


Team 5 injuries are few and far between, but when they happen, they happen to Emily. Whether it’s wild dogs, steep hills, or flying spider sticks, Emily, in her quest for GPS points, always encounters it. Luckily she is a ninja and can handle anything nature can throw at her!

Step 8: Sing!


A lull in conversation?

Because I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble!

This song can also serve as secondary GPS when a director or another team is trying to find us.

(Please note Stephanie intentionally hiding from the camera.)

Step 9: Drop off our finds and go get coffee!


It feels as if we’ve only just started working and singing, but suddenly it’s 12:58, the day’s units have all been surveyed, and it is time to go home.

Step 10: “Stephanie, what is the upside down L again?”


We struggle to read as many signs in Greek as possible while DB faithfully returns us to Myloi. Stephanie tries her best to teach us some of the language and we try our best to systematically butcher every word we pass.

WARP 2014 Team 5: Good Enough!

*heights in photo to scale
*heights in photo to scale

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