The Awakening ¡!

We “awakened” after our first night at Sagehen Creek Field Station. The male dorm slept well but woke up a few times due to chilly toes. Tonight, we’ll make sure to close the windows. The female dorm was too hot, so we’ll make sure to open the windows tonight. In the morning, the kitchen crew woke up early to make breakfast. Five of us went over to a nearby meadow to set up a malaise trap: a mesh tent that serves as a passive insect collecting tool. When insects fly in, they hit the sides of the tent, travel upwards, and get trapped in a 95% ethanol concentration. When we walked back from setting up the trap, we saw a doe and her fawn. A great way to start the morning!

For breakfast, we had delectable make-your-own breakfast burritos, as well as a vegetarian option and fresh fruits. During breakfast, we played a very intense and high stakes game of Uno. Right afterwards, we received an insightful presentation from the manager of the field station, Jeff. We then visited the fish house (imagine an aquarium tank built straight in to a natural stream) where we saw little creatures including sculpin, juvenile trout, caddisfly larvae, mayfly larvae, and hydra. Afterwards, we learned about stream systems and macro invertebrates. What is a macro invertebrate? Macro invertebrates are a variety of different arthropods that live in bodies of water.

From there, we began our group project, where we asked the question: do macroinvertebrate communities vary in different riffles (fast moving water over rocks) and different environmental gradients (light, sediment type, fish presence) in Sagehen Creek. We counted fish and observed streamside habitat. Returning from the creek, we had refreshing sandwiches and scrumptious snacks for lunch. And or course, lots of water.

We then chose our roles for the rest of our group project in which we collected data on macro invertebrates in the creek. We went back out into the creek to sample invertebrates, water quality, algae, and rock size. Our greatest discovery was a salmonfly, which is about a finger length in size. This species is surprising in its ability to live up to eight years. Our Kick Net Karate Master has the role of stirring up the cobble to collect what traveled along the creek. This would later be sorted through by others to discover what macro invertebrates lingered in the mysterious waters.

When we finished sampling the first three of our six sites, we returned to camp and took a break. Some of us took a shower while most of us played an exciting game of Uno. The last three of us were on dinner duty and whipped up a delicious meal of seasoned fish, cooked vegetables, and rice. For dessert, we had homemade Rice Crispy Treats. We continued to play Uno (we’re addicted) for a while before heading to the classroom to learn about possible individual projects. Not many of us have decided what we want to research for the project but we are keeping it secret until tomorrow! >;3 As the night progresses, some will be going to bed while others will be setting up the black light to attract nocturnal insects.

How the authors feel about camp:

“I feel that, so far, my experience has been very eye-opening and I am learning lots about insects and watershed science. Can’t wait to continue learning and discovering new…… to be continued” –Andre

“So far, I have been having lots of fun and exciting new experiences with my new made friends. I’ve learned so much over these past few days and can’t wait to continue discovering new things!” – Audrey :3

“I have been having a really fantastic time. This has been a really unique and cool experience for me. I am looking forward to the rest of my time here at Sagehen Creek.” -Noah

“This has been a great learning experience, and I’ve been learning so much these past few days! I’ve made so many friends all over the world, and it has been so much fun!” – Taylor

See y’all on the next awakening!!!

To be continued….




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