Category: Blogs

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 …

Animal Behavior Gives Us Grief Read More »

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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 …

Just Call Us “Team Discovery” Read More »

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This weekend I went camping on the Kenai peninsula for four days with Lauren and Matt. We made collections and (the reason Matt and I went with Lauren) we made crosses in the field of a few populations down in …

The View From Here Read More »

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Lauren, Anna and I spent 4 days camping on the Kenai Peninsula. Four bears, a golden eagle, 29 crosses (performed on a picnic table in high winds and 46-degree temperatures), a dozen or so trapping sites, hundreds of beautiful mountains, …

Camping by the Numbers Read More »

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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 …

The. Best. Day. Ever. Read More »

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Jana, Sophie and I went up about 3 hours north of Anchorage to take water quality samples from several lakes, as well as to trap fish at Trouble Lake. Trouble is a bit of trouble to get to, but reaching …

North of Anchorage Read More »

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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 …

View from a Canoe Read More »

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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 …

I Went to Alaska and I Came Back Weird Read More »

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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 …

Pup Lake and Yard Dogs Read More »

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Scott Christy, a local pilot (and retired geologist, among other things) is a great friend to our lab, and is kind enough each summer to take us in search of stickleback in hard-to-reach places in his float plane. Today he …

Friends In High Places Read More »

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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. …

One Long Day Read More »

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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 …

Lassie, the Spruce Chicken Read More »

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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 …

Speaking “A-lab-skan” Read More »

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Fifth-year master’s student Rachel Chock successfully defended her thesis titled “Re-emergence of ancestral plasticity and the loss of a rare limnetic phenotype in an Alaskan population of threespine stickleback,” and walked in commencement ceremonies May 18. Rachel studied the effects of human-induced …

News from the Laboratory Read More »

PhD student Justin Golub has won two prestigious awards to support his work with Susan Foster and John Baker. One award was $1,500 from the American Museum of Natural History Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant. The AMNH Roosevelt grant is designed to aid graduate research …

News from the Laboratory Read More »

Prof. Susan Foster has been appointed to the newly established Warren Litsky Endowed Chair in Biology. This chair is established through a bequest gift from the estate of Warren Litsky, who graduated from Clark University in 1945. Susan joined the Clark University …

News from the Laboratory Read More »

Here are some Alaskan pics I’ve taken so far. The top photo shows Anna and Jeff at Rabbit Slough. We saw the moose, 2nd photo below, at Whale Lake. He regarded us for a few minutes, and then plopped down …

On Rabbits and Moose (Okay, Just One of Each..) Read More »

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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 …

Blame It On the Rain Read More »

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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 …

Homeward Bound Read More »

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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 …

The Shish-Kablog Read More »

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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

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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 …

The Midnight Mud Attack of 2008! Read More »

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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. …

Hazy Shade of Winter Read More »

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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 …

On Trapping Lakes and Flagging Tapes Read More »

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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 …

To the Kenai with a Keen Eye Read More »

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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 …

North to Alaska! Read More »

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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 …

Coming Attractions (or … 4 Girls and a Van) Read More »

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On May 13, the day of the group photo and celebration of Rachel Chock’s successful defense, a dry run (literally) of the plankton sampling routine for Alaskan lakes was played out in the Maywood parking lot next to the Lasry …

Plankton Sampling in a Parking Lot… Read More »

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Students in the Foster-Baker lab are packing for field work in British Columbia and Alaska. One post-doc, four grad students, and five undergrads are gearing up to perform field work on threespine stickleback and their lake environments from mid-May through …

Preparing For Adventure Read More »

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