I am so excited to start the second part of my Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship! Although I will still be going on occasional hitches with scientists from the Greater Yellowstone Inventory and Monitoring Network, most of my time will be spent with the Yellowstone Center for Resources. I will be working with volunteers on the Yellowstone Phenology Project, a Citizen Science Initiative that enables people of all ages and backgrounds to collect and analyze data related to the Yellowstone ecosystem. We will set up pitfall traps, collect arthropods (insects, spiders, mites, etc.) that fall into these traps, and identify them to (at least) order level with the help of a microscope; beetles from the Carabidae family will be examined to a greater extent, as these insects are indicative of ecosystem health. After learning more about the vegetation here at Yellowstone, I will identify species and analyze the status of vegetation present in the plant phenology quadrats. Aside from the Citizen Science Project, I have the amazing opportunity to do fieldwork at climate change monitoring sites, and I may be able to tag along with scientists working with bigger creatures, such as wolves.
Side note: I absolutely LOVE how many women I met today; I am so happy to know that the National Park Service has so many female scientists!
Until next time!