Hello, my name is Mr. Schaefer. Join me as I travel to New Orleans to study Climate Change and Caterpillars!

Monday, September 27, 2010

And I thought everything was bigger in TEXAS

September 27th, 2010
It has been such an interesting time down here. Not precisely roughing it, but we have been inundated with so very much to do. Yesterday, we learned the ins and outs of the lab work, where we bag and tag (but not seel to the butcher) the samples, and update the database that the researchers have developed since 1998. According to my records, they have almost 14,000 individual samples! It's probably the 2nd most tedious work here.
Today, they took us out to the field for the first time. We were able to collect a variety of species, and then started to learn how to do the plots....which involve three steps:
1) Mark out a central tree and determine a circle around the tree with a radius of 5 meters:

2.) Collect all caterpillars found in that area, including with a beater to knock them out of the trees.

3.) Easily the worst part - counting every leaf on every plant in the plot area. This is what one of my colleagues, Shirley, looked like during that tedious task...

It's going to be an interesting week...

but the point of my blog today was to share with you the size of the creatures that we have encountered since our visit.

"Tame" crocodile

Giant grasshopper

Giant collected caterpillars

Spider stretched over our trail

More giant grasshoppers

Love and best wishes to you all, talk to you tomorrow

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