¡Hola mis amigos! My name is Josiah Weeks and I am a native New Hampshirite who will be a senior at
Plymouth State University this fall. Growing up in NH’s Lakes Region, my love of nature has been nurtured by constant contact with mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests. Since beginning classes at PSU my love for the outdoors has evolved into a passion for conservation, animal biology, and ecology. As far as this summer goes, I’m excited to be getting to spend my days out in the field, hiking the White Mountains, swimming in Mirror Lake, and learning Español from some of my fellow estudiantes here at Pleasant View Farm.
This summer at Hubbard Brook I am working on a stream ecology project with Dr. Kerry Yurewicz. The goal of my study is to analyze the diversity and abundance of invertebrates transitioning to stream systems from the surrounding forest and vice versa. After doing this I want to compare how these factors vary between conifer and deciduous forests. In order to collect my data on stream invertebrate output, I will use emergence traps, which capture insects leaving the stream after changing into their adult forms. To determine the input of invertebrates into the streams I have put out pan traps, which are simply
trays filled with water and a few drops of dish soap. The soap reduces the surface tension so that anything that falls in will go under the water, rather than staying on top and possibly escaping before I can record what they are. I am expecting to see variation between forests due to differences in habitat preference and nutrient availability in different forest types.
My data collection was going well prior to a big rainstorm that brought in approximately 5 inches of precipitation and carried off all 40 of my traps. Now I’m back in the building stage, but will hopefully be back on track soon. And to throw a positive spin on this, I can now say that I have experienced true field research, because as many supportive scientists here at HB have told me, “Fieldwork never goes as it is planned”. Thanks for reading, adios!