Friday, April 16, 2010
You might be surprised to find out the kind of day to day work that being a scientist involves. So far, we have been collecting data in a transect, or line. But today we collected data in a quadrat. A quadrat is a 10 meter by 10 meter square that we set out in the woods using 4 poles as the corners. Then we got down on our hands and knees and tried to count every single snowshoe-hare scat that we could find inside the square. Each one looks a little like a coco-puff. In 5 different quadrats, we collected a total of 5,000 scat! This may sound a little crazy, but it's actually important work. We can learn from this data an estimate of how may snowshoe-hare there are in that area, even though we can't see them all. This is also an animal that is sensitive to climate change, so Chris and Christina are interested in seeing if their population may change depending on climate conditions. More on climate change to come!