Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Field work at Turtle Camp
My primary field site is "Turtle Camp" along the Mississippi River. I am at Turtle Camp for about 6 weeks straight from mid-May through early July. When I am here, I am very busy with multiple projects; 12-16 hour days are not uncommon. We run long term field research on nesting ecology of Painted Turtles, which is my advisor Fred Janzen's primary research project. I usually have one or several of my own research projects going on. We trap multiple turtle species in the river and take all sorts of information and samples from them. And we also work on a US Fish and Wildlife Sand Prairie to do surveys for nesting turtles and various other reptiles that inhabit the prairie. If that wasn't enough, we run the Turtle Camp Research and Education in Ecology (TREE) program, where we bring high school and undergraduate students out to do real field research for two of those weeks. If you are interested in any of these projects, you can read a lot more detail about them on Fred's website, and see some of the associated scientific publications that came from them (click his picture on the side of this blog). This video shows you a little bit about our work in the Sand Prairie. On this day I went out with Aaron Reedy and some of the TREE students, and you can see us trying to catch some lizards!