Tag Archives: Rachel

Zombie Fish!

One of the most fascinating aspects of threespine stickleback biology I have learned about while here in Alaska is the parasitism of our wild-caught fish by Schistocephalus solidus. As I mentioned before, Dr. David Heins of Tulane University studies this … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

I’m Leaving On A… Float Plane?

Much like Jeff last year, I got to go with Matt on his annual float plane trip with Scott Christy, a local pilot and very good friend to stickleback researchers in Alaska. You know how I mentioned before that seeing … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

String of Bad Luck – But We Push On!

Time flies… I’ve been up here in the Great North for six weeks now, but it feels more like the blink of eye. On June 17th, Matt Wund, our lab’s postdoctoral research fellow flew up to our neck of the woods … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Did You Ever See A Stickleback Asking For His Money Back…?

On Wednesday, June 10th, Kat Shaw (you can read her field blog here)and Jeff Huenemoerder arrived for their summer field season in Alaska. Both study behavior of male threespine stickleback, so they are well-suited for collaborating in the field. Noffer (our Forester) took a turn … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Planet Earth

  Most of the wildlife that we are exposed to while we work in the field up here in south central Alaska is seen in fleeting glimpses. Long enough to scramble for a camera, take a few shaky shots, and … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

In Which We Try Many Things and Only Sometimes Succeed

  This morning dawned a bit cooler due to the rain, but we made ourselves french toast on the camp stove and packed our tents without complaint. We planned to move down to Anchor River today, but only for one … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Rain and Roses

  Today has given us a new appreciation for how beautiful the weather has been up until now. When we woke up in our tents this morning we found that it had rained. No problem, we thought. The skies looked … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

And Away We Go…

…down to the Kenai Peninsula. Some of you may remember my rather epic introduction to the world of threespine stickleback field collecting from last year when Lauren, Jana Loux-Turner, Sophie Valena, and I got to Alaska in mid-May and immediately … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

The Dirty Kind of Clean

Lauren and I just got back from a three day camping trip. We spent Sunday night in the Nancy Lakes area (camping next to South Rolly Lake), and then Monday night up north in Talkeetna. this involved a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Brief Note.

Hello faithful readers of the Stickleblog! To keep everyone up to date – Lauren and I are heading out to South Rolly today for our first camping trip of the season. We will be back in a few days, so … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

In Which Rachel Really Appreciates Optometry

  We are impressed. Everything we catch is less than 6 inches long! Today I discovered the importance of leaning away from jars of formalin. As we were picking out gravid females at Rabbit Slough, a drop of the stuff … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged ,

“Hanging tough, staying hungry…”

Despite my jet lag (Lauren is lucky; she lives in Washington state so the plane ride was only a three hour hop north and a one hour time change for her), we managed to get a normal day’s work in … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

North to Alaska: Take Two!

It was raining in Houston. The smell of wet pavement and warm humidity clogged the walkway to my seven hour Continental flight to Anchorage. Excited Texans bound for cruises and students bound for summer adventures in the wilderness pressed in … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Animal Behavior Gives Us Grief

Back in Massachusetts at Clark University… The trials continue – both literally and figuratively! John and Susan realized the other day that if anything were to happen to Dianne (Dianne Suggs, one of our PhD students) and she was unable … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Just Call Us “Team Discovery”

Lauren and I left late Tuesday afternoon (Moody Blues, anyone?) for a five day camping trip needed to trap in the Willow and Talkeetna areas of the Mat-Su. Most of the rest of the day passed in a blur of … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

The. Best. Day. Ever.

Matt is off with the water quality girls today to Talkeetna. It’s a long drive and Jana and Sophie need to complete the water quality on at least three lakes while they’re up there. Matt is going because he needs … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

View from a Canoe

Things all get switched around from time to time. It’s nice for me, not being hooked into any one specific project because apparently I will get to experience them all! The water quality team has been having some trouble with … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

I Went to Alaska and I Came Back Weird

So the fearsome foursome is back together for a day or two using Pewter to tote traps and one big red canoe about the Mat-Su. The specific things we did this day hardly matter. At this point, we are used … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Pup Lake and Yard Dogs

It’s Matt’s birthday! The “death” of June. It never gets old. Matt’s friend, Scott Christy, took him and Jeff up in a float plane today. Meanwhile, Lauren and Anna gave me a day off to write — so while they … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

One Long Day

What a day. Some of the days on the Kenai were long, but this day may have taken that cake for Lauren and me. I suppose it’s partially our fault for starting later than normal due to running errands, etc. … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Lassie, the Spruce Chicken

Really need to remember to put bug spray in the van! Lauren and I went to pick up our traps at Zero Lake today and nearly got eaten alive. We also got led down the trail by a spruce grouse … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Speaking “A-lab-skan”

Late last night, the other half of our lab group flew in. They are all here to mainly work in UAA’s lab, using fish caught in the area. Matt Wund is the lab’s postdoctoral research fellow. His work is based … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Blame It On the Rain

The weather treated us surprisingly well when we were down on the Kenai. It was cold in the mornings and at night, but for the most part we had sunshine. Today it rained. All day. Not hard or anything, but … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Homeward Bound

So, yesterday we made some rune stones to help us make decisions. For example, the decision of who showered first when we got to our unit. I won that one. After pulling all our traps from the day previous, we … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

The Shish-Kablog

This is our last night of camping. The UAA residence halls open tomorrow, so we’ll be traveling back to Anchorage and moving into our main unit tomorrow night. Met some people today at Encelewski Lake who know Rich King! It … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

On the Road Again

As the title clearly states, another day of driving. Nothing terribly exciting until the end of the day when we left our Hidden Lake campsite and moved down to Ninilchik in order to trap farther south. – Rachel

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

The Midnight Mud Attack of 2008!

Speaking of Skilak Road … We had quite the eventful night. After throwing all of our traps and picking up the water quality duo from their last lake, the four of us spent some time in the Soldotna McDonald’s charging … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Hazy Shade of Winter

Water quality girls still figuring things out. Today, I learned how to count and preserve fish in the field. It’s so crazy and amazing to actually see this fish in the wild after studying them for years in a classroom. … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

On Trapping Lakes and Flagging Tapes

First day! Lauren taught me how to set traps in about two minutes while standing on the muskeg at Watson Lake. Muskeg is great stuff; generally, one can refer to it as bogland or marsh. It consists of sphagnum moss … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

To the Kenai with a Keen Eye

I suspect that in the next couple of days, I am going to really appreciate that the grant money provided the four of us in these first two weeks was used to put us up in hotel for my first … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

North to Alaska!

Scene: Dulles International Airport in the early afternoon of a rainy, spring day. The terminal is crowded with people chattering on their cell phones, eating sandwiches and drinking coffee. One girl sits, notebook in lap, smoothie in hand, writing and … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged

Coming Attractions (or … 4 Girls and a Van)

Coming soon: The tale of what it is like to camp for seven days on the Kenai Peninsula in late May, trapping fish and taking water quality samples daily. A harrowing experience of traveling in a van packed with equipment … Continue reading

Posted in Stickleblog | Tagged