The cemetery scanning is finished

A few things to report for last week. We had been stuck on one grid that we seemed to not be able to get scanned. I was really starting to think something did not want to be scanned but it turned out that the GPR unit we were using needed to be serviced and a few items bought to continue on. Lost 2 days due to that happening but once it was fixed we were up and running. We finished the cemetery finally on Friday afternoon. Pretty sure both of us had sun burns. This week I am looking forward to going over all the data collected and marking all the graves.

Peepin’ the Peepers!

This week team Z started at Fond du Lac learning how to use fish as a proxy for water quality. We suited up in waders, equipt with nets, and walked through some thick vegetation to get to our survey sites in Fond du Lac streams. We employed the technique called electroshocking to stun fish, identify and mark their occurrence, and allow them to recover downstream. I noticed that many streams are dominated by one species of fish and usually they are species that are tolerant to many and even poor conditions in streams, generalists. Species like Brook Trout are good indicators of clean, unpolluted waters. We saw some Brook Trout in a couple streams that we surveyed!

Me holding a 10 in Brook Trout in a beautiful stream that we sampled.

The second half of the week was spent in the lab and research farm. We pulled out our peepers this week and had fun extracting the pore water samples. Our experience at the farm caught the attention of local news outlets and we were featured in videos and articles.

At the research farm the day that the media came. I’m extracting water samples using a syringe, poking through a bag filled with nitrogen with the peepers to keep the sample anoxic. Gage is coordinating the sample tubes, Matt is weighing samples and retrieving peepers, and Arianna is taking pH measurements.

Back in the lab we used a spectrophotometer to measure the amount of sulfide and iron in our samples and collected additional data with our samples.

Matt and I using the spectrophotometer.

This coming week we will do data entry and analyze the peeper data!

A week at the lab

Poster time, I must admit that I am a bit intimidated about poster making. I have only made two posters in my student career and although the second poster is considerably better than my first poster I still fear that my third poster will looking like a child created it.

This week was dedicated to lab work, mainly analyzing the historical drought data for the northwest Montana that contains the recorded historical huckleberry patches. Some of the data didn’t download properly, I am not sure if it was something I was doing or what so I ended up taking hours correcting the data. But it all worked out by the end of the day.

First BBQ for the summer.

Luckily, I was able to take a break to cook dinner on the grill and had a relaxing bonfire. Later today I am going to take a break and go watch the Toy Story Movie.

Week 4

Very busy week, little late to write about it, but it was a good week. Had a blast of a weekend camping, hiking and listening to live music. Our hikes included Holland Lake and falls, and then Morrell Falls, all in the Swan Valley. The live music included many local folk, bluegrass and Americana bands, and weather was just right for camping. Then immediately after the weekend I had family come and stay for the week which made it difficult to get anything productive done. The following weekend, my dad, his girlfriend and I went up to glacier, it was their first time and they were amazement the whole time with the beauty of the scenery and wildlife. Couple of good field day, couple of poor weather days this week. For the most part though, temperature is getting hotter, and flowers are loosing and their bloom while others are just getting theirs. Everything is going so fast and changing so rapidly. I learned that this research would be a lot easier and less time consuming if there were more able bodies to help, but for now we are going two at a time into the field because that is the bare minimum needed for this study. Capturing bees is probably the most fun thing, and our record so far is one that was 27 mm, most likely a Bombus Apositus.

St. Mary’s lake
Morrell Falls
Young grizzly on Going-To-The-Sun-Road.