As the semester winds down, our field classes are experiencing good weather and fine landscapes ....
This year in Field Biology (BIO302), we had a number of exciting field labs. We went out to sample the Gunk on campus, to a stream running along the Rail Trail, Black Creek Preserve, and Lake Minnewaska. Below are some pictures of the field experience, along with a few creatures we ran into on the way.
Left: In Saw Mill Brook, the stream that runs parallel to the Rail Trail in New Paltz and feeds into the Wallkill, Patti Hollick, Christine Hales, and Soji James (L to R) wade into the stream to measure the stream discharge. The discharge is the amount of water flowing in the stream measured in liters per second, similar to measuring a shower flow rate. Right: Michael Keane samples Black Creek for macroinvertebrates using a D-Net in a Scenic Hudson managed preserve. Students determined the health of the stream based on the community of organisms that lived there and whether or not they were sensitive to pollution
Left: Zack Lowenstein shows off a crayfish he found in the macroinvertebrate samples in Black Creek. Right: Amanda Cowell, Brett D’Arco, and Anne Ryerson hiked miles to find the start of the Coxing Kill far into Minnewaska State Park. Their final project involves bioassessment of the health of streams across Ulster County using macroinvertebrate community indices.
Left: Raquel Green (near) and Hana Akimoto (far) prepare to launch into Lake Minnewaska to study the effects of location in the lake (edges, top of the lake, or bottom of the lake) on metabolism of microorganisms like phytoplankton (algae) and bacteria. Right: Kelly McBride (orange kayak) and Christine McGowan (blue kayak) are appropriately colored SUNY New Paltz kayakers as they prepare to sample the bottom of Lake Minnewaska using a Van Dorn sampler.
Left: While sampling Lake Minnewaska, we made friends with a Green Frog (Rana clamitans) Right: Aquatic adult stage of the red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) captured by Hana Akimoto. These salamanders were incredibly abundant in Lake Minnewaska on this day.
Left: Selda Avman enjoys the day kayaking and taking samples from Lake Minnewaska for pH, conductivity, total dissolved solids, and microorganisms. The pH in Lake Minnewaska that Selda and her group measured was much higher than it has been in the past indicating that the lake going from acidic to neutral. Right: Hana Akimoto prepares to measure dissolved oxygen concentrations in her group project looking at metabolism of microorganisms in light and dark treatments. The jars were kept in the lake to stabilize temperature and examine changes in dissolved oxygen due to biology.
Ecology capped off a successful season with a field trip to Dr Rietsma's deer browser field research sites:
Left: Deer exclosure at Mohonk Preserve. Ethan Pierce, Deer Management Coordinator for the Mohonk Preserve is discussing deer management with the students. Right: Glory Hill fields which will be part of an experimental prescribed burn later in the season.
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