By: Your Local Resident Naturalist, Kestin
So, as Resident Naturalists, we’re not only leading hikes, teaching workshops or being a local expert to anyone with questions (did I mention we’re humble, too?). We also find ourselves helping with whatever projects come our way in lieu of visiting researchers or ongoing projects on campus.
Here, Alison and I are helping tag butterflies for Mike Maudsley and his monarch butterfly research at UGA. Using a sharpie, we draw a little mark on the wing to make sure they’re not recounted; don’t worry it doesn’t harm the butterflies!
A group of us went out and sampled the Río San Luis last month. In sampling, we are looking for the aquatic insects that are under rocks, in leaf litter, etc and we use them as biological indicators of the river’s health. Once we have all of our samples, we come back to the lab on campus and pick out the insects from the leaf litter or pebbles. This data is compiled together and is used for stream monitoring for the Pájaro Campana Biological Corridor Project that UGA is involved with.
Another long-term project that we have here at UGA CR is our monthly bird count. Here we are close to the trail to the waterfall, counting what birds we see. What a great research project to be a part of: a day of birding!
Since being here, it’s been great to be able to help out with various projects that need an extra hand. As my dad would say, I’m expanding my horizons; I’m looking forward to what other projects are coming our way!