Moving Forward (2/19/2013)

Yesterday was a big day for the EVE180 class. Last Thursday we decided as a group on a single project idea on which we wanted to base the next six months, and today, we began working on making it all a reality.

Initially planning to begin pilot sampling this coming Thursday, the class opted to post-pone our field day until next Tuesday due to a schedule conflict with our potential field site undergoing weed control.

In the mean time, the group worked on addressing some equally pertinent elements of our experiment. Among other things, we began the process of applying for our experiment’s requisite permits, and worked on developing a protocol for Tuesday’s sampling methods.

In the later portion of class, we were visited by Dr. Ian Pearse, our resident UCD expert on galls, and gall insects. For an hour we picked his brain, gained feedback on our experiment, and had the chance to investigate some of Ian’s prior experimental findings. During the course of our discussion, a number of questions were raised. Some queries pertained to our proposed sampling methods, and others to how seasonality of galls might effect the impact of our overall question. These are aspects of our experiment we’ll have to investigate closely in the near future in order to be sure we have a solid understanding of what our project is trying to address.

This Thursday we will spend our meeting doing one critical task, developing exact protocols for Tuesday’s sampling. These methods should ensure a smooth, yet thorough process, and will ideally yield plenty of useful data on what exactly we have to work with. Having spent so much time in the classroom thus far, its critical that everyone has a chance to get their “lab hands” back before we attempt to sample a field site which is roughly 1,000 yards across.

Agenda for Thursday: 

9:00am – 9:15am Outline agenda and split into groups

9:15am – 9:45am Groups develop protocol for respective missions.

9:45am – 10:00am Groups present rough outline of protocol. Class discussion to ensure it meets our sampling needs.

10:00am – 10:45am Mission teams go out and nail down protocol/methods.

10:45am – 11:00am Groups present their views on protocols. Class discussion.

11:00am – 11:25am Final layout/process for Tuesday outlined, including timing.

11:25am-11:50am Discuss how Ian’s insight has/might change out experimental outlook. Do we need to make changes?

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