Hey guess what!
I'm going to do fieldwork in China for 8 weeks this summer!
I've been holding off on talking about it here until I got the final-final word, but that just rolled in, so now I'm all set, pending any weird visa issues.
I'll be funded through a fellowship program of the NSF (that's the National Science Foundation for you non-nerds). I'm flying in/out of Beijing & doing a few things there first (like a language intensive! how do you say "what is the name of this plant?" in Mandarin?), but I'll be spending most of my time at a field station in Inner Mongolia, studying desertification, and desert grassland restoration. Hooray!
Basically I'll be wandering around in the desert by myself for...hmmm, let's see... by the time you account for the time in Beijing on both ends, plus getting to & from the field station & getting set up... crikey, that works out to be about 40 days.... alone... in the desert...
-cue dramatic motion-picture music here-
So, I've already asked a few peeps for advice, but if any of the rest of you out there have any tips for traveling (mostly alone) in China, I'm all ears.