Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting Our Feet Wet

This is the second in a series of posts by our intern Jeff  Jaureguy.

Day 2
June 26, 2016
Ed on the finer points of beating-sheet collecting.Creative Commons License
Sunday morning and still no electricity in the hotel due to the storm from the previous night.  Loaded the cars and headed out to on our first field site at the Namekagon River in Bayfield County SACN.  We split into two groups to explore under a bridge nearby to collect samples.  I scavenged the cement wall directly under the bridge near the stream and found many dead samples of stoneflies within spider webs. 
After this bridge excursion we headed to the park area where there was an entrance into the river.  Dr. DeWalt brought out dip nets and beating sheets and taught us how to use these tools properly to collect the insects.  Dip nets are used to collect aquatic insects on the bottom of the river floor while being submerged in the water.  After using the the dip net, the contents are poured into a tray to sift through and pick out the aquatic insects of varying species.  Beating sheets are a diamond shaped sheet used to collect insects off plants by beating the plants with a short stick until the insects fall onto the sheet, after the insects are stunned we use forceps to pick up the insect and preserve it in a bottle of ethanol.  Completed the collection for the day and filled up two bottles of ethanol with a multitude of different species. 
Evan, Jeff, and Alex emerging from the water.Creative Commons License
I really enjoyed learning how to use these collecting tools, there is a such an art and finesse to collecting that takes many years to master.  It turned out to be a very long day after the morning and night collecting, can’t wait for more adventures, but now to get a little shut eye. 

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