On a Cold Day in November…NPC Volunteers Take to the Field

Logue 2014 (6)Northcentral Pennsylvania was colder than average yesterday, November 18, 2014. Depending on the weather site/forecaster you follow we were somewhere around 20 degrees colder than normal without factoring in the windchill.

A hearty group of volunteers that didn’t let the cold weather deter them. : – ) Tom, Alice, Butch, Jerry, Mel, Mark, Zach, Lily, and Dennis trudged around a property with Charlie and me (Renee’). To provide comments and feedback on the property’s conservation values – the water resources, wildlife habitat, forest resources, and scenic resources.

The photo at the top of the page were taken along the stream. It’s a small unnamed stream. There is also a wetland on the property and several seeps.

While it wasn’t the ideal time of year to look for macroinvertebrates (bugs), Mel still did. : – ) Taking his gloves off, he started picking up rocks to look at their bottom side.  Many macroinvertebrates attach, in some way, to rocks on the stream bottom.

He also looked at what kind of rocks and woody debris are on the bottom. The rock type will determine what kind of macroinvertebrates (macros) can live there, and also what other aquatic wildlife can live there. The woody debris is a food source for many macros.

Here’s why Mel was looking for macros:
+Macros are affected by the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the stream.
+Since macros live in the stream they show the effects of short-and long-term pollution events, as well as the cumulative impacts of pollution.
+Macros are pretty close to the bottom of the foodchain and are a critical part of the stream’s foodchain. The macros present, help you understand what larger aquatic wildlife may be in the stream.
+Macros are easy to sample and identify (some of Mel’s students may disagree with the second part of this).

Thank you to Mel and everyone else for coming out on a cold day. There wasn’t a single complaint about being cold!! There were a few comments on Charlie’s hat, but that’s to be expected. : – )