Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Math, Science, Tech Day at CSU

The CSU Guppy Group volunteered for CSU Math, Science, Tech Day, where local 4th grade students from primarily underrepresented communities were invited to CSU to experience the campus and learn about research, in an effort to demonstrate that a college education is attainable and exciting.  We again used our guppies to teach about adaptation and natural/artificial selection.  One student even told me ours was the best demonstration all day, so they seemed to have enjoyed it!  Thanks to Dale and Lisa for organizing, and John, Sarah, and Austin for helping run the event!

Observing the colors on a low predation guppy

Coloring a pet store guppy

Dale discussing how environment shapes a guppy's traits

First trip to Trinidad!

Last week I took my first trip to Trinidad.  Even though it was the wet season, we needed to get fish to start a breeding experiment, so we took our chances.  Unfortunately, it poured down rain most of the time we were there, turning small creeks into raging rivers.  It started raining on our way home from the site we sampled on the second day, and the hour drive down the the windy, bumpy, mountain road we came up on turned into a dangerous, flooded, muddy mess, consequently causing the rental car agent to scowl at Cam when he returned the car.  Fortunately, we made it back and waited the rain out for the next 2 days by checking out sites and visiting the Asa Wright Nature Center, a renowned birder's paradise.  On our last day, we made up for lost time and sampled 3 sites in one day, and another team of researchers sampled a 4th site for us!  So in all, it was a successful trip, but hopefully next time it will be the dry season, and we will have more time to explore more of Trinidad.  I feel like this was my first "real" field experience, where we were basically camping at the field station - I had to sleep in a mosquito net - and I got more dirty and wet in one day than I have in an entire week!  Now I am officially a field biologist and I love it!

Using butterfly nets to catch guppies in Trinidadian streams

More photos here!