Thursday, April 5, 2012

Deer Poo, Habitat Piles, and GPS...oh my!

Hey everyone!

It has been incredibly busy two days.  After going through the small mammal traps and finding two voles, we went on to count...deer poo!  Gross right?  BUT NOT REALLY!

In order to set up the deer poo count, we had to stake out an area of 10 by 10 meters.  We then head to stand basically at arms length from one another (5 teachers) and crawl on our hands and knees to "count" deer poo piles.  After analyzing this information, we can estimate how many deer are in the area!

After counting deer droppings, we went on to building something called "habitat piles".  This was hard work!  What we had to do was gather dead trees, tree trunks, large branches, etc., littering the forest floor and create HUGE piles of these.  This is actually good for the animals.  Extra Credit:  What could animals use these "habitat piles" for?

Finally, we had to GPS the area in which we are working.  We had to map out the large trees, as well as any "field signs".  A "field sign" is "sign" that tells you an animal lives there.  This includes droppings, dens, holes, fur, bird songs, etc.  Can you think of other field signs?

I am learning so much and am excited to share this knowledge with you all.  Tomorrow is the last full day.  Crazy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012



How are you all?  I hope you had a great spring break.  I'm SO SO SO sorry that I am not able to skype you.  One of the requirements of my fellowship is that I go out in the "field" (a forest) and collect data on the small mammals we are researching (which then gives us information about the effects of climate change), and that is where I have to be during the time you will be in class.

Please read through my posts so that you have a general idea of the work I am doing here.  Feel free to comment or post on whatever you would like (keep it appropriate!)  The comment/post will not immediately appear, it may take as long as a day, so please do not worry about that.

Anyway, I hope you all are doing well.  Make me proud, work hard, and stay respectful.  Have a ton of fun at the community meeting today.

See you soon!!

These are two other teachers who are working with me.  One is from North Carolina, and the other works at CAT!

Why are we doing this?

Hey Class!

Another great day in the field here in Nova Scotia.  We caught a white footed mouse and I was able to hold it!  It was a little scary, but the mouse was incredibly cute, and way more scared than I was.

Just to give you additional background information, we are collecting "data" of these animals and comparing this "data" to years past.  We compare the number of animals we catch during these two weeks, with the same time period last year, and the year before that, and so on.

We then compare this data with the change in climate (or temperature).  We can see how climate and number of small mammals is connected.

Cool right?  Maybe we can do a graph of this when I return.

Check out the picture of the White Footed Mouse!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kejimkujik National Park

Kejimkujik National Park...or "Keji" for short.  A great National park located in the center of Nova Scotia.  The team of teachers and I went there to count deer droppings (so we can find out how many deer there are), as well as walked through an old growth forest of Hemlock trees.

I saw the coolest thing at Keji.  A half tree trunk that was all gnarled and bitten.  Guess what ate it?  "It"-The Animal, was looking for grub!

I also saw this sweet waterfall!

Halifax-Capital of Nova Scotia

Hey class!

Today the teachers and I went into Halifax, the capital and largest city of Nova Scotia.  Nova Scotia is the province I am located in, a province is basically the same thing as a "state" in the USA.

One of the coolest things I saw was the Halifax Farmers Market.  The roof of the building was covered with renewable energy resources!  In addition, the water used in the building is collected from rain water from the roof.  Awesome!

There are two "renewable energy resources" found on the roof of this building.  Can you tell me what they are?  I know it may be a little difficult to see in the picture, but look hard!  Also, think about the location...the building is located right next to the water.