Results for category "Species ID"

6 Articles

Oh blackberries how we hate thee

We had our first full day of surveying. My team got a good amount done so that was good (3 full 100m transects and a half). Before we went on the trip Sean told us that blackberries will be the bane of our existence. I personally thought that it was a little bit of an exaggeration, no no it wasn’t. We had to hack our way through a few walls of this evil plant. It has a lot of tinny tiny little thorns that just snag everything that it touches. We all got a few little pricks here and there, for me on my arms and my back. These are the worst because then you can’t really see it and you can’t tell where it is/where it is from. But Jayla totally crushed it at whacking the blackberry bushes out of our way. If there was no blackberries today would have been perfect. We say a lot of spiders (yes we consider this cool), some crickets, A LOT of caterpillars, a small brown snake (we think it was  a gardener snake), there were a few armadillos that we could hear it waddling around. So it was over all a good day of animal sighting and Katie, Jayla and I were all able to keep smiling and laughing the whole time. Can’t wait for the next few days. 🙂

Jayla and Katie at work

a caterpillar

an ordinary spider

me holding a machete!

a REALLY big spider

another spider

yet another spiders

The team left to right Jayla, Katie and me (Hayden)

A little grasshopper

A quick recap of day 2 fieldwork!

Today was hot and gnarly in the swamp. I had my first personal encounter with the swelling bushes of blackberry. Some people found it horrible, but I found it exciting!

Why might you ask? Because we got to machete the heck out of it. With great power comes great necessity. And it sure was necessity to destroy this nature God had bestowed in this transect.

Always excited for the next encounter!

Aside from that…

Our group knocked out almost 4 complete 100 meter transects today. I think the best parts were the in-betweens where you were waiting around and observing nature. The amount of biodiversity in the woodlands is outstanding. I mean, most are spiders but it’s still fun to observe. I could just sit out there between those maple trees, eat mullberries, and look at critters all day. Now I’m E xcited for tomorrow’s field day!

Photo of our hardworking awesome team!

Saturday Field Work

Today we went back to Woodlands Conservancy to continue our fieldwork. The purpose of us doing fieldwork at Woodlands is so we can count and measure the types of native and invasive species we see along the trail. We walk along every trail there, and every 50 meters, we walk 100 meters into the forest and measure what we see every two meters along the way.  

A Map of Woodlands

We started at 9am this morning and it is now 7:50pm. It was a long hard day of work but we are now being rewarded with homemade gumbo from Ms. Carol, one of the fine ladies we met at Capstone this past week. 

Sunday Field Work

So a big part of the work we are doing here is dividing up parts of the Woodlands Trail, and counting/measuring the amount of invasive species (Chinese Privet, Tallow, and Chinaberry) that is visible throughout the forest. By breaking up into teams and dividing the forest up into transects and recording what we see.   

Recording Sheets


What makes our work so crucial is that students from our school have been coming for ten years to study the impact that invasive species, hurricanes, and humans have had on this landscape.  

Jay and Patrick walking the trail


Tulane Service Learning

We were joined today by a team of undergrads from Tulane University.  (Soon to be Dr.) Jayur Mehta‘s Intro to Environmental Science students joined us at Woodlands Trail.  This course primarily serves students looking for a GE in the sciences, also counting towards their two-course minimum of Service Learning experiences needed to graduate.

We integrated the Tulane University students in with our CSU Channel Islands students with a 1-to-1 ratio.  This worked quite well with our more experienced students being able to teach the new-to-the-swamp Tulane University students the lay of the land and the species at hand.