Project Description :
Forest communities across the globe are being impacted by rapidly expanding human presence due to agriculture and urbanization. The Pioneer Valley Forest Community Project is assessing the response of forest ecosystems to these pressures in Western Massachusetts. To evaluate this response, we collected data on multiple taxa including birds, tree communities, and invertebrates.
Invertebrate samples from 42 sites across the Pioneer Valley taken during the summer 2017 field season have been dried and stored in ethanol. These samples must be sorted and identified to order. Undergrad research assistants will help with this process using a dissecting scope and dichotomous keys. Samples need to be sorted, organisms identified (to Order), and data carefully recorded. This will require:
• Use of dichotomous key for invert ID
• Ability to distinguish small differences between organisms for purposes of
ID using a dissecting scope
• Some data entry (possibly)
Research assistants will have the opportunity to learn lab technique, protocol, and
research methodology and to be involved with a graduate ecology lab.
Involvement with field components of research, or independent research projects in
the spring semester if interested.