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Conservation at its best!

So this is going to be a quick one! This morning was exciting because I got to go out and do an aerial survey for sage-grouse! Conser...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Made it to the field!

So this post is a long time coming! I made it safely to Hyattville, Wyoming about two weeks ago, my field technician Kevin arrived, and we had our first stint in the field! So, I have a lot to share. Instead of inundating you with one long post I am going to do several posts over the next couple days.

Let me introduce you to the field!
So here is our home base:
We are staying in a house on a ranch with another sage-grouse crew.

The goal this field season (my third) is to collect genetic samples (feathers, fecal, tissue from dead animals) in areas where I have data missing. I have collected A LOT of samples so far, but there are some locations within my study area that I have very few or no samples.

Where is my study area you ask? I am doing my research in the Bighorn and Powder River Basins
The Bighorn Basin is the left outline and the Powder River is the right outline. The colors represent landownership. White is privately owned land and the colors represent different state and federal ownerships (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Wyoming State Lands, etc.)

Since my study area is so large I have a couple modes of transportation

The ATVs are useful to get around on rough roads and wet conditions. Plus, we can get to field sites faster and get to twice as many if we can split up.

Who is this we? This year I have someone helping me out!

This is Kevin! He will be helping with all my data collection in the field. He worked for another student in my adviser's lab last summer (https://sites.google.com/site/murphylabuwyo/meet-the-lab)

Oh, and the data that I'm collecting. Let me introduce you to that.

fecal samples:

I only collect the pellets

Photo credit: Katie Zarn

These samples come from Greater Sage-Grouse.

Alright, I think that is enough of an intro for now!

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