June 20, 2019. I ran into Taylor in an RV park in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. The park was steps away from busy railroad tracks and we laughed at how difficult it was to get much sleep. Taylor explained that she was a University of Alberta grad student leading a research team in the study of the Plains Sucker Fish. She and her two research assistants , Angela and Colton, were scrabbling together some hot cereal outside of the U of A, big blue camper/research office there in the park. They were in a rush to get going, but agreed to offer their words to my questions. I let them choke down their cereal first. I am not a monster.
Are you in love?
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
“Oh. That’s a big question. (She thinks for a moment) Immediately, I wanna go with my mom. Uhm, I feel like I’m a lot like her. I look a lot like her…but I think in terms of getting to where I am, and stuff…Oh, this is a hard one!
(More thinking) Yeah…there was a guy back in university that really got me back into working with fish, and uhm…I’d say if it wasn’t for him helping me get started with the fish tank again, I probably wouldn’t have wound up here in Maple Creek studying fish!
So, uh, yeah, if I had to pinpoint one thing that put me here, that was probably it.” Did you want to mention his name? “Nope!”
How do you feel about the future?
“Uh…not great! I’m a little concerned. Uhm, we’re all here in the same kind of degree (referring to Angela Ten and Colton Morrow), so conservation biology, land reclamation, that kind of stuff, and uhm, every other day is like battling this impending sense of doom about the future on a variety of fronts but, for us, mostly climate related. Yeah.”