Monday, June 27, 2011

I think I'm Growing Feather's but I'm Not Sure of It! -Cloud Cult

The Crew all Geared up to head to the stream
 The new job is really fun! We camp near the headwaters of the Trask River here in Oregon. We have 14 streams that we study 8, 5-m plots in. Half of the plots in each stream will be in a logging area next year and half will be outside of it. This allows us to determine the effects of logging on the streams. My crew is in charge of the amphibians (Pacific Northwest salamander, Pacific giant salamander, and tail frogs (tadpoles and adults)). Other crews are studying flow, macroinvertebrate densities, substrate, fishes, and sediment deposits. They have been doing this study for 4 years and next year the logging begins, after the logging is done they will do 4 more years of collection. In past years the amphibian crew marked certain individuals to calculate a population estimate. We aren't marking this year because of the logging break, but we are getting a fair amount of recaptures!
Me with a Pacific NW salamander

A recaptured dicamp
 The salamanders are marked with an elastomer tag, or a dye injected into their skin. The combination of colors and location of mark allows us to identify individuals! We can look back in the database for this combination of marks and find out how much it grew (length and mass) and where it came from (what plot it was marked at). I am having a great time, my crew is fun, camp is awesome, everything is great... except for salmonberry and Devil's club- two plants that are everywhere next to the streams and have obnoxious thorns that are determined to poke every possible surface of my body. Arrg!
After last week of work, I went and joined Andrew capturing cormorants on the island! It was pretty awesome! We wore coveralls because of how disgusting the tunnels are... filled with sand and cormorant poop... but it was really awesome seeing the banding done! I am still pressuring him to guest blog... hopefully while I am on this next 8 day stint he will find the time ;)
Andrew and I in coveralls

Well, that is a bit of an update on my adventures out here! I will be out in the field from Wednesday to Wednesday this coming week, then flying to Minneapolis for Will and Erin's wedding and family and friend camping fun! Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. My little Jessy-poo, I miss you!!