1 August, 1997
Friday, August 1, 1997. 4:00 a.m.
I am awake --actually, this was later than usual for me as this would be 8:00 a.m. EST. Remembering the open dining room and really wanting some coffee, I got out of bed and went to make some. Shortly, I was joined by Danny, the fisherman, who was also still on EST. We chatted and drank coffee until some of the Toolik staff came and commented to us that we must be on East Coast time and would soon adjust to Alaska time. The other new adjustments were learning new acronyms like REUs, RAs, TEAs and how people were grouped: the terrestrial or aquatic or permafrost people -- according to the area of specialty and study. Of course it was important to know where I fit within this classification scheme -- WHO I WAS and to WHAT GROUP DID I BELONG? The easiest to remember was, of course, the fishermen -- their name sort of says it all. After breakfast everyone set about their daily tasks.
I met briefly with Karie Slavik, Dr. Linda Deegan's associate and my Toolik contact, and discussed my proposed projects involving insect collection and bird observation as well as some of the in camp preparation that I needed to do prior to the field work. You can easily sense the dedication of the Toolik staff and researchers, the season is short and everyone must make the best use of their time. Karie Slavik and Nat Weston seemed to run on high speed most of the time and often worked late into the evening to make the most of the extended daylight hours. I learned later that no matter how late Karie worked, she always seemed to be smiling the next morning and was anxious to tackle the new day.
My project(s) consisted of a preliminary look at insects populations and bird activity along the Kuparuk River. My first Friday was spent gathering materials and preparing insect sticky cards to place in the Kuparuk River area on Saturday. The purpose of the cards was to trap insects so that I could do a count of the insects at the Kuparuk River sites. (Identification of the insects was also a desired outcome, however, due to the poor physical condition of the trapped insects, idenfication was limited.) The 108 4 x 5.5 in cards cut from poster board were to be placed a pre-determined locations along the Kuparuk River. The "sticky" for the cards was provided by Tanglefoot, a commercial product designed to capture insects as they crawled on tree bark. The plan included the attachment of the 3 cards/station to rebar or wooden stakes at the -0.1, -0.7, 2.5 and 3.0 km experimental zones of the Kuparuk. The purpose was to examine population densities in the control versus the experimental region and run an ANOVA on the data. Additionally, I was to do some bird watching and identification, parcticularly of those who were eating insects along the river corridor.
The weather that day was great! Actually wonderful! Warm and sunny -- not at all as I had anticipated. I completed my prep work and set out a sample insect trap by Toolik Lake to make sure the adhesive would hold the insects.
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