|Description||The summer of 1997 marked the second season of field research at Rice Creek Field Station under the Rice Creek Associates small grants program. Support from Rice Creek Associates was again supplemented by a contribution from the Division of Continuing Education at Oswego State University. With additional support from the University's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and an increase in the level of funding from Rice Creek Associates, it was possible to underwrite four research projects in 1997. Diane Chepko-Sade and Peter and Nicholas Weber continued their investigations of the Field Station's small mammal and butterfly populations. Jennifer Frank, a graduate student in biology at the State University at Albany, investigated the possibility of using our hardwood forest as a point of comparison in ongoing studies of the interactions between salamanders, earthworms, and decomposition of forest litter at the E. N. Huyck Preserve in Albany County. Jennifer did not find a population of salamanders adequate to make our site a meaningful addition to the Huyck Preserve study. Not long ago, our small patch of old growth forest was an isolated farm woodlot in the midst of pastures and cultivated fields. I am led to consider the potential for monitoring our site to see if salamander populations characteristic of larger forest areas will be established in the Rice Creek forest as the successional woodlands now surrounding it grow to maturity. John Weeks, an old friend and supporter of Rice Creek and one who was instrumental in the establishment of the Field Station, undertook to update our knowledge of the populations of birds breeding in the wetlands bordering Rice Pond. John's study speaks of both continuity and change in these populations and will serve as a benchmark for further such surveys in years to come. The job of editing and formatting these reports of research during the 1997 season has provided me with valuable new insights into the ecology of Rice Creek Field Station.
Andrew P. Nelson, Director Rice Creek Field Station June 21, 1998||en_US