We are baaaaaaacckkkk

Welcome back to our wild world of field ecology. We seem to have had a pretty relaxing or eventful spring breaks.

IMG_20150330_170024

We moved across the hall to a class room with less fungus growing in it.

Here is a snapshot (or a block of text) of what we think we can bring to this quarter as well as some highlights from times spent away.

Viri: More free time with no class on Fridays! Got to sleep in till 1pm over break. xD  Keily: Can be one of our data input master explaining how she will “go at it on the excel files.” Went to yosemite over break. Phillip: More free time with no class on Fridays! Strengths also include final paper writing and inputting data. Watched soccer, a lot of soccer, in fect wore a soccer jersey today. Michael: Our official emergence traps master mind, 50 ready to go, tending the already filled insect traps. Additionally will teach people how to id insect and pin mount (not an easy task). Found a dead body over spring break, not kidding. woah. Sean: Shared some supportive words about how he likes our level of parcipation and group work and is generally looking forward to the rest of our project. Lucky duck laid out by the American River for fours days.Jas: Says we have a lot of stuff going and it ready to keep on trucking. Went on a super long hike in Portland with a friend.Kendra: Excited for more fieldworld. Liking our momentum. Hiking in Portland as well, but not the same hike as Jas. Bonnie: Ready to write this paper! Went to Stinson beach during break.Brendan: More spare time! Fridays clear and Mondays pretty clear. Got a new pet leopard gecko. Settlers of Catan= new obsession.Ash: Bringing fresh enthusiam.  Iron man hockey winner! And moved homes. Avery: Says bring on the stats! Played Dungeon and Dragons and went to the dentist. Bringing to the table nice clean healthy teeth.Sonja: Trying to be a successful mushroom rearer. Had a bike-full break.Alec: Bring on the stats and the R. Went to Hawaii! Hiked into a crater.Kara: Will work on the stats/paper, making our group process more effective and communicative. Suffered a concussion while feeding cat 😦 but! Went to the zoo saw a cute snow leopard.

Notes from one-on-one meetings:

We need to boost communication. Get everyone’s phone number in your phone! Doodle for blocks of time for meeting people. This extra time might look like a “discussion section.” Big learning points from people were that this course has taught people how to make decisions about things, Ideas for making choices; “table” and save it for later OR come to a consensus on the topic. Depending on the situation write down how and why the decison was made. We also want a mini-entomology course. We also want some flexibilty to move around mutliple groups.

Moved into our focus groups to discuss next steps and information needed:  

Mushroom cultivation 

if no Agaricus pins by next week, we want to figure out another way to quantify.

Hung is checking on our oyster process, but the button mushrooms look great!

We are considering increasing humidity by adding wet newspaper instead of moving to a humid growth chamber.

What pinning looks like for all of us who are able to air out and water the Agaricus mushroom replicates! When pinning begins STOP spraying with water.

IMG_3920-300x225 MUSHROOM PINNING

Getting people on same page with the 40% Agaricus:

Somewhere in “Middle” may have one pot with mixed spawn, but seems like many pots were all Monterrey strain, some pots were Hung’s strain. Jason, Jas say they don’t remember Hung mixing spawn — we didn’t markwhich pots received which spawn — we should check to see if it is brown or white? casing layer won’t make connections but may still fruit because don’t need to add spawn to casing layer.

Insect rearing 

working out microscope issues (maximize budget and efficiency)

10-15 minute basics on fly ID // common fungivorous species we might find/

Monday: what kind of data do we want? Number of each morphospecies need data sheet.

—> to do LOOK UP: morphometrics — measuring insect body length

—> or insect weight? some aspect of fly fitness

Plating 

Bonnie and Philip plated things, trying to figure out ratio of agar to gall,

going to make more agar tomorrow (if Tyler is available) and start a big pilot by

the beginning of next week. It looks ike things are growing, have ideas for

different controls (physical presence of galls and autoclave, etc.)

Trying to figure out schedule — then let class know what is up.

Field crew 

more data analysis on Wednesday (plant and fungal data is not normal)

next steps: measuring covariates

Distance from Riparian area (Avery)

# galls under trees (Saturday afternoon – try a few ways to count galls under trees — will need hands on deck for that)

Unknown plants needing ID — can do this on Saturday afternoon

farther future to do:

Late grass diversity survey — in several weeks — keep an eye on grasses

on Saturday to see how they are progressing phenologically

Here are some action items! 

Kara: print/find large calender to post on wall. Doodle poll for everyone’s availability outside of class time (Ash). Email Ian about pots.

Sonja: set up spray bottle before Wednesday afternoon. Confirm that oyster spawn is what is the colonizing substrate, if yes, order more spawn (5 bags), ask about ideal conditions, specifically if 25 celcius would be the best.

Michael: Work on reared insect data sheets before Monday with Ash

Keily: Make up data sheet for insect rearing. AIr out/spray Agaricus

Brendan: AIr out/spray Agaricus

Jas: AIr out/spray Agaricus

Ash: Create doodle poll for everyone’s availability outside of class time (Kara). Work with Michael on the insect data sheets. Put spawn in fridge 😉  Find newspapers.

Eveyone: Read the email Kara sent out about the literature assignment. Basically read papers that will help understand topics and methods about our project. Will be assigned specific papers to read before Wednesday. Hey! Upload papers/highlight important papers tomorrow morning or tonight if you have not already.Get everyone’s number in your phone (in Administrative folder in dropbox). Add METHODS from wach group to google drive.

Directions for the potluck: Wednesday 6pm Fill in what you can bring to the potluck on the email Ash sent out.

  1. Take Hutchison Drive to Hopkins Road.
  2. Head south on Hopkins until it turns left at Putah Creek and becomes Levee Road.
  3. Turn left at Levee Road and continue for about 200-feet.
  4. Park on the north side of the road, then cross the road to the steps leading down to the picnic area.

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