Summer Fieldwork Updates

As the winter rains set in, here’s a post harkening back to our summer adventures. We’ve been posting fieldwork photos on our new Instagram account (check out the latest posts in the sidebar). Here’s an aggregation of what some of the second-year cohort got up to over the summer while collecting data for their Applied Research Projects.

Kyla Sheehan was out on the the tidal marsh islands of the South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area in the Fraser River Delta, gathering elevation and vegetation data to build a predictive vegetation model for Frenchie’s Island. On the right is a particularly diverse quadrat from her vegetation surveys. Some of the species in this quadrat are: Lyngbyei’s sedge (Carex Lyngbyei), Douglas aster (Aster subspicatus), and the native cattail (Typha latifolia).

Lynn Pinnell got the opportunity to camp for on Tumbo Island in the Gulf Islands. She and her supervisor shared the island only with numerous seals, eagles, raccoons, an abundance of deer and eight river otters. She collected soil samples from burnt and unburnt plots from a prescribed burn conducted in 2016. Once collected, she processed her samples in the lab to prepare them for chemical analysis and then traveled to Summerland to the Agriculture Canada Research Centre there to do a crash course in Nematology!

Maddie Edmonds was out peering at agricultural hedgerows, doing bird point counts and arthropod surveys to study the features that optimize breeding bird habitat at Alaksen National Wildlife Area and Serpentine Fen Wildlife Management Area, and look at the negative impacts of invasive Himalayan Blackberry.

Zane Zondervan travelled out to the Cariboo-Chilcotin region to study restored wetlands as waterfowl habitat. He performed breeding pair and brood surveys of waterfowl of various sizes and habitat characteristics.

Kate O’Neill installed temperature loggers in the Tsolum River in locations where there could be groundwater input, as well as within and near tributaries to understand the influence that the tributaries are having on the Tsolum River mainstem. It was fun and tiring work, with lots of diving down to the bottom of the streambed to install the temperature loggers. A big shout-out to Katie Wiese, Emma Cummings, Jay Baker-French, for volunteering to help.

Emma Cummings and Jay Baker-French joined the Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries Society to measure the success of restoring Carex channel edge vegetation that has been degraded by the overabundant population of Canada geese.

The second-year cohort is now at various stages of working through samples, processing and analyzing our data. We will be presenting our preliminary results on February 3 at the ERSA 2020 Research symposium. Contact erstudentassociation@gmail.com if you are interested in attending to hear more tales from the summer and updates on our progress.

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