3 Years in the Making When I accepted the post as PolarTREC teacher to scientist extraordinaire Amanda Koltz, I didn’t realize that this would be her last field season before publishing her…
Cuckoo!
Parasites – the ultimate lifestyle choice As mentioned in a previous journal, every organism has a place in the complex food webs of life – be it an autotroph, heterotroph (that’s us, unless some…
Collembola
Just What do Spiders Eat? In a previous journal, I mentioned that the wolf spider is a generalist predator that feeds on detritivores in the soil. There are many different organisms that fall under…
Kiki
Berlesing means buckets…lots and lots of buckets. In my last post, I explained how soil samples were taken from the tundra. The samples were cut out of each of our plots (with a bread knife) then…
Buggy.
A Quick Recap As mentioned in previous journals, this project is investigating the dynamics of the tundra soil ecosystem by determining the impact that the wolf spider has on detritivores that live…
Swarm
The State Bird of Alaska Before I came to the Arctic, everyone who was familiar with Arctic summers warned me about the mosquitoes. Back during our orientation in Fairbanks in late March, we even…
Invincible
What Time do I Have to Get Up? I knew something was up as I walked to the dining hall and saw Amanda Koltz running towards me with a huge smile on her face. “Do you want to go fishing tomorrow? It’s…
This is the life!
Getting Your Hands Dirty If you’ve been keeping up with my journal entries (and if you haven’t, shame on you…just kidding, welcome!), then you know that Team Spider heads out in the field pretty…
Simple Food Web
What is a Food Web? At its most basic level, a food web is a diagram showing who eats who (or what) in an ecosystem. Food webs can be extremely complicated, because there are lots of living things…
Catching Spiders
Collecting Evidence So just what is a typical day when you are studying the effects of spiders on microbial food webs? Well, as you might expect, no day is typical. There are many questions that…
Caribou herd
Adaptation 101 When most people heard that I was going to the Alaskan Arctic to study spiders, the common response was “spiders can live in that cold environment?” Well, yes. Yes they do. How?…
Prudhoe Bay General Store
Hours from Civilization? Location wise, Toolik Field Station is literally in the middle of nowhere. There are no towns nearby, unless you count the pop-up city of Deadhorse, which is home to all of…