Review of summer research

I enjoyed conducting research over the summer, mainly because of all of the novel experiences I encountered with my lab partner. I’ll note some of the events I thought were memorable.

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Stilt grass data collection images continues

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Images collected at various sites when collecting Stilit grass data

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Dragon Run Sampling

This week Molly and I sampled Dragon Run state park. The only problem besides the usual ticks, mosquitoes, and walking into spider webs, was the presence of greenbrier, which is a vine-like plant that is covered in thorns. The plant’s abundance made it difficult to reach and sample each random point. For example, when sampling for ticks, the flag would continuously get stuck. In addition, when sampling for stiltgrass, I had to literally walk through it as I had to follow my compass. Often times, I’d be tangled in greenbrier while being attacked by mosquitoes, a great dilemma. Nonetheless, neither stiltgrass or ticks were abundant at the sites we sampled.

Fort Eustis sampling

Last week, Molly Teague and I sampled random stilt grass and tick points at Fort Eustis. Fort Eustis turned out to be a swamp, and thus, there weren’t too many ticks. However, stilt grass was in abundance. The only problem was mosquitoes. They were literally everywhere, which brings me to my next point; use permethrin whenever doing field work. Permethrin is an insecticide that is effective against ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes. I had no problems with these insects when I used it, but recently, I’ve been using Deet. This change has resulted in a noticeable increase in the number of mosquito bites I’ve gotten.