Saturday, June 11, 2016

Adventures in the Boston Harbor Islands

I spent my second week working with recourse management on the Boston Harbor Islands. I spent my first day learning how to use the GPS to map and record invasive plant species. I learned all about how they recorded the data and then used that data to make informed decisions on how to remove the invasive species. I enjoyed learning about all of the different exotic plant species that made their way onto the islands.

The second day was spent assisting in removing old broken down lobster traps that washed ashore. It was really impressive to see the transformation of the island as the traps were removed. After we loaded all of the traps from the island onto a boat I was able to practice using the GPS to map a large section of the island and enter the plant demographics into the database. In these two days I learned a lot about plant identification and removal practices. I was able to learn about the challenges in removing the plants as well as all the different methods.

I spent the third and final day on the Islands working on a mammal sampling project. We headed out to Peddocks Island and checked fifty different small mammal live traps. The only species we encountered was the white footed mouse.  Each time there was a mouse in the trap we set up our station and prepared to handle the mouse. Once the mouse was put into a bag it was sexed, scanned (to see if the mouse already had an id chip) and weighed. If the mouse did not have a chip one was inserted into the back of its neck. This study was closely looking at the island’s population of this mouse. All the information we obtained was entered into a data collection sheet and later into the computer where it could be used.  After all the data was collected I moved on to help a volunteer group remove invasive plant species.

I was able to learn so much throughout these three days. Overall, I saw how challenging it can be working without unlimited resources. I was able to see the difficulties recourse management faced. Despite this they are problem solvers and really know what they are doing.

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