Rice Creek Research Reports, 1999-2000

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Weber, Peter
Holy, Michael
Valentino, David
Stamm, Alfred
Connor, Benjamin
Thomas, JoAnn
Chiarenzelli, Jeffrey
Chepko-Sade, Diane
Nelson, Andrew
Rice Creek Field Station , SUNY Oswego
Contains the Following Research Reports: Butterfly Populations at Rice Creek Field Station, 1999 Season; The Impact of Precipitation on Electrical Properties of the Shallow Subsurface at Rice Creek Field Station: Experimental Design and First Results; A Survey of Small Mammal Populations at Rice Creek Field Station (Year 4)
Peter Weber, collaborating in 1999 with Oswego State alumnus Mike Holy, continues to add new species to the known butterfly fauna of Oswego County through studies at Rice Creek. A new topic in the butterfly study this year was consideration of the way in which butterfly populations react to the management practices used at Rice Creek for maintenance of open field habitats. To keep large fields open we mow patches every year in a sequence that takes four years to complete. Initial results from Peter and Mike's studies suggest that butterflies prosper best in those sections of the field that are in the second and third year of regeneration after mowing. Our management practice has been based on the presumption that providing a mosaic of habitats in different stages of development would result in the greatest diversity of wildlife on the property. It is gratifying to have this concept supported by detailed studies of a specific group of animals. David Valentino and his colleagues are literally exploring new territory with their studies of the effect of precipitation and soil moisture on the electrical properties of the soil as determined by use of electrical resistivity techniques. The experimental instrumentation installed during the summer of 1999 has enabled David's group to chart the day by day progress of moisture from a rainstorm as it moves down through the soil. The instruments have been left in place and used for monitoring the presence and movement of soil moisture under the snow pack during the winter of 2000-2001. I look forward to hearing of new discoveries when this winter's results are analyzed. Diane Chepko-Sade's report from the small mammal study concentrates on the use of this work as a focus of class exercises and research projects in biology courses. I was privileged to participate in this endeavor. As someone who has spent much of his adult life personally or professionally involved with field oriented natural science I find few experiences more rewarding than that of accompanying young students on their first forays into this world. Navigating through the woods after dark or taking field notes in the rain is not everyone's idea of a good time, but whether it turns out to be a milestone in the development of a life-long interest or an experience never to be repeated, it engenders a sense of excitement, anticipation, and pride of accomplishment not often equaled in classroom education. --- Andrew P. Nelson, Director Rice Creek Field Station June 18,2001