After traveling from the Maine Border to the ferry in Saint John, across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia (NS), I had some down time before arriving at the site in Cherry Hill. I took the opportunity to see some of the beautiful sights of this region, as well as some wildlife. When I finally arrived at the home in Cherry Hill, where I'll be spending the next 2 weeks, I was greeted by the 6 other fellow Earth Watch participants as well as the 2 field scientists: Drs. Christina and Chris (both professors from the University of Oxford, in England). We had a nice meal that evening and got to know each other a little bit.
Today, we had a 4 hour lecture/class on what Earth Watch is all about. We discussed the importance of mammals as key indicator species of an ecosystem, including what particular mammals we'll be studying during our course: the wood mouse, the common vole, and the red squirrel. We also learned the importance of knowing the number of particular species within a region (or ecosystem), because they indicate factors such as climate change, habitat destruction, or introduced species and competition.
After our talk, we took a short drive to a place called, Broad Cove, where we took a 3.5 hour long walk (about 5 miles) along the rocky, rugged coastline. Our walk, which is called a transect, was to practice identifying mammals. That came in the form of direct (seeing the animal) and indirect observations (seeing signs of the animal). What do you think the most common sign was? What mammal do you think left that sign? Scroll through some of the pictures, and post your thoughts to this blog as PART 1 of your assignment. PART 2 of your assignment (to be done in your journals) is to make a list of all the mammals you can see from your backyard, commute to school, around the school property. Make sure you are clear what distinguishes a mammal from other animals (birds are not mammals!)
Enjoy the pics, and please post by Wednesday!
***I will see all of your comments, but will only POST about 8-10 of them, so don't get discouraged if you don't see your comment under my blog. I'll try to get everyone's at least once!***