FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!

Local Naturalists club




I've been attending meetings of a local naturalists club, Cape Breton Naturalists, for the past couple years, hitting up a couple meetings a year. Often I've been working out of town during the seasons in which meetings occur, so I haven't always been available to attend, but, being unemployed again, I had a good opportunity last night. The club meets once a month through most of the year following a presentation type format; a member or guest basically gives a seminar for about an hour or so, there's discussion and questions during/after, and then socializing.

Last night's meeting was presented by a former coworker from Cape Breton Highlands National Park (the guy talking early on in the video from this blog post) on Coyote-Human Conflict. It was pretty interesting; though I've been working near this research project for four years, there was still a fair bit of material presented that I hadn't been aware of... it's always nice to learn something.

I was also asked to lead the presentation for January, to which I agreed... now I have to think of a topic Razz
Given my better knowledge of insects than other groups, I figure they'll be a good place to start... but I don't want to just present my old research or something; I'm kinda mentally/emotionally done with dealing with that data. Right now I'm leaning towards insects in winter, dealing with the standard strategies different insects employ to survive winter (overwintering in different life stages), some of the chemical adaptations used to prevent freezing, etc. and highlighting some of the local species/groups that are actually active in winter, in/on the snow. This isn't an area of expertise for me, so will require a fair bit of reading and research, which could certainly be fun Wink

I'm going to toss around a few other ideas before I really delve into the topic... I may not even really look at insects. Come to think of it, I could do something along the lines of the impacts of the local moose population on forest succession and moose-generated changes in success of tree regeneration. Actual data might be a little sparse on the topic, but the effects are visually apparent in the forest Razz
I'll have to come up with a couple other ideas as well...



9 blog comments below

"Insects in winter" sounds like a great topic. Do you have lots of material available?
deanhills on Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:21 pm
Not yet, I'll have to do some research.
I've learned a bit about various survival strategies and the like, but never in depth. I'll have to do a lot of reading for it. The audience is also largely non-academic, so I'll have to gear my content towards people who won't necessarily have knowledge of different ecological/organismal concepts that seem obvious to me.
Ankhanu on Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:32 pm
That sounds fantastic, Ankhanu! I hope you practice on us right here. After all, we're buggy! laugh
standready on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:14 pm
Quote:
I'm kinda mentally/emotionally done with dealing with that data. Right now I'm leaning towards insects in winter, dealing with the standard strategies different insects employ to survive winter (overwintering in different life stages), some of the chemical adaptations used to prevent freezing, etc. and highlighting some of the local species/groups that are actually active in winter, in/on the snow.


How is such data created/stored?

Is it built up from notes? Stored in private or public documents?

Depending on how the data is built, would it be something you could do publicly displayed on a website? Or is this something us non-researchers wouldn't be able to understand anyways?

Sorry for all the questions, just curious Very Happy
Ghost Rider103 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:37 pm
The data I mentioned in the first sentence is my BSc. and MSc. research; data I collected through a couple field seasons. In my BSc I collected insects (specifically ground beetles - Carabidae) in pitfall and pan traps in three different forest types in different stages of forest succession to compare beetle diversity in each... in my MSc I collected beetles (ground beetles, rove beetles and weevils - Carabidae, Staphylinidae and Curculionoidea) with pitfall traps in different pasture management systems to assess how management affects pasture biodiversity (and thereby sustainability). Data was compiled and stored in a spreadsheet and analyzed with stats packages. My MSc thesis is available through my university library (and I made PDFs), though I think that's just hard copy...
These sorts of things can be dealt with in a web page, but it wouldn't be all that useful to do so. Publishing in a scientific journal is the way to get the information out there.

If reported correctly, yes, non-researchers can definitely understand... if they can't, that probably means it needs to be better written Wink Obviously, there'd be a fair bit of data that non-researchers simply wouldn't care about, but that's different.

As for the rest of the quote... I'll have to hit the scientific literature and compiled sources, such as text books and the like, and build my knowledge base. From that I can then distill it down to the relevant information for a broad-base presentation less focused on specific systems, chemicals, etc. and more generalized to whole-system level and get into why. I could certainly compile all this sort of stuff publicly and/or on a website, though, again, it'd be pretty low-traffic Wink
Ankhanu on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:12 pm
Well, this is later today... it's 1am and I'm still putting together the PowerPoint slides. Nothing like putting it all off to the last minute Wink I'm less prepared than I'd like to be at this point, but, isn't that always the case?

The basic outline of the talk is as follows:
Cold and the Cold-Blooded: Insects in Winter
Introduction to Insects
.: What are Insects
.: Diversity
.: Life stages (hemimetabolism/holometabolism - incomplete and complete metamorphosis)
.: Ectotermy (cold-bloodedness)
Winter Environment
.: Cold and fluctuations
.: Snow and the subnivean environment
How Insects Deal with Winter
.: Migration (horizontal and vertical) or Slowing down (retarded, diapause or torpor)
.: Overwintering life stages
.: Cold Hardiness (freeze intolerance, freeze tolerance)
.: Supercooling and antifreezes
.: Behaviours and adaptations for winter (Site selection, congregation, melanism, brachyptery, small size, etc)
.: Winter active species
------ Aquatics (mayflies, stoneflies, black flies, etc)
------ Terrestrial (Snow scorpionflies, winter moths, snow fleas)
aaaaannndd, Wrap Up.

I may use this as a starting point from which to build some YouTube entomology education material... I may not... we'll see Wink
Ankhanu on Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:07 am
Sounds like you're going to have a good PowerPoint and a great presentation. I know very little about bugs but I kind of grasp what you're going to be talking about. Too bad I'm not there otherwise I'd try and sneak in and have a listen and be the only person that cringes and shudders at the sight of any bug pictures.
TheGremlyn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Yeah, this is going to be a broad overview sort of talk, not really getting into the details... partially because I don't really know the details yet Wink You certainly wouldn't be the only one shuddering at the sight of insect pics; these people are naturalists, but most naturalists are primarily interested in fuzzy charismatics, just like everyone else Wink
Ankhanu on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:31 pm
The talk went pretty well. I talked for pretty much an hour, fielding a few questions as I went along, then took about 15min of questions afterwards before it became less formal and questions came in one-on-one interactions. The talk started at 7:30, and we didn't head out until about 9:15 to get our daughter to bed. Feedback was positive Smile
Ankhanu on Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:31 am



FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.