The Fieldwork Continues!

Hi all! Joey here again with another update from Michigan! May was an incredibly busy month for me and June is looking to be no different! Last week I had the pleasure of participating in some electro-fishing with the Huron-Manistee National Forest staff on the Mio Ranger District. This district is near and dear to my heart as they are the forest that helped me kick off my passion for fieldwork! Way back in 2017 I volunteered on a project monitoring American Marten in Michigan, through my university, in partnership with the Forest Service. We had some hot days last week, with most days being 90 degrees or higher and long hours in the field are taxing. Either way there is nowhere I would rather be. The interesting part of our work last week was that we weren’t targeting game species like the DNR does. Instead, we were in search of Channel darter which haven’t been studied since 2007. The fish biologist in Mio, Luca Adelfio, is helping to put together an environmental DNA assay in coordination with the Rocky Mountain Research Station, and for that we needed DNA. We took fin clips from all darter species captured. I got to get out of the office and look like a real biologist for a few days. That felt amazing!

We worked in a team of three mostly with two others holding buckets to transfer any fish captured into. Fish were then counted in the case of non-target species, or processed for our darter friends.

There is more to come!

This is not the only thing that I am doing in the field this month. Next week I will be doing surveys in Mio once again, this time for Kirtland’s Warbler! I am also finishing my life zone tour for my regional office to use during big meetings to get our points across by taking those decision makers to areas we have actually used treatments. Much of our data collection during my trip to New Mexico is being put to use now. This will be my first formal publication in any form and I could not be more proud of the work that we are doing.

Until next time, thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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