The past two weeks we have been imaging all 3,300 vouchers in the Medford BLM’s herbarium as part of a project funded by the University of Washington. This project’s ultimate goal is to digitize herbaria throughout the Pacific Northwest and get these resources into the public eye. We spent many repetitive hours placing vouchers (some dating all the way back to the 1920’s) into a photo light box and sinking up voucher accession number to the online database.
Even though the work we did was for a greater good, I am glad to say we are finally back out in the field and it is amazing how quickly things can change in such a sort time. It looks like we will be starting to collect seed from many species starting next week and the second round of flowers that weren’t in bloom a month ago are now showing their faces.
a molting cicada
voucher in the light box
Calochortus tolmiei (pussy ears)
Over the last month a lot of my energy has been focused on studying two animal species found in the Panoche Hills Recreation Area: kangaroo rats and the federally listed blunt nosed leopard lizard. We have been conducting kangaroo rat granivory trials to examine how kangaroo rats interact with the shrub Ephedra californica and understory annual species which are mainly invasive grasses. We also have been using animal activity cameras with night vision to monitor their activity under shrubs and in open areas. Very recently we have also begun an exciting collaboration with working dogs to survey lizard scat under E. californica shrubs and in open areas. This technique for surveying animals has proven to be very useful and is able to quickly and accurately survey animal populations in an area and is a very exciting collaborative project.
Over the next month we will be finishing up our leopard lizard survey and I will begin the preparation for manipulative experiments with E. california to further test the interactions of the shrub with animals and annual vegetation. This will also have important restoration and conservation implications for both species, especially with future predicted climate change.
Here are some pictures of me and another researcher (Alex) with a leopard lizard!