The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Junior Researchers Week 1: Wildlife Defenders!

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | July 17, 2012

Shaza and I were really excited about our first week long camp!

The campers arrived and moved into their new classroom for the week in the barn. We started out by determining what a researcher was and talking about the different types of research we would do throughout the week. Each camper got their own research journal to record and draw their data and discoveries throughout the week. Each day started with a weather log and then proceeded into the specific habitat for the day.

Monday: Tide Pools

What a great way to start the week! Before heading out to the beach to search the tide pools, the campers drew a beach on the board and learned about biotic and abiotic factors that contribute to intertidal zone life.

Junior Researchers Wildlife Defenders camp

Campers exploring the tide pools!At the beach: Jaiden, Sarah and Kelly exploring the tide pools!

crabOne of the many green crabs the campers caught!

Tuesday: Salt Marsh

Among the greenhead attacks, we learned about the special adaptations creatures have to survive in the ever-changing habitat of the salt marsh.

salt marshWe did lots of scientific exploring among the salt pannes, including setting out traps and measuring salinity, temperature and turbidity!

salt panneShaza helping her group collect data in a salt panne on the marsh.

clammingKelly and Sarah digging for clams on the mudflats!

clams We ended the day with some old-fashioned clamming with our hands — here is our catch!

peat rock crabbingUsing teamwork the researchers discovered that by jumping on a submerged peat "rock" they could scare crabs out from underneath and catch them with their nets.

pregnant green crabOne of the crabs they caught was a pregnant Green Crab!  Look at all those eggs!!

Wednesday: Stream

We did some stream sampling — discovering the world of macroinvertabrates

streamUsing our nets to discover what resides on the bottom of a stream.

stream 1More searching for life in the rocky stream!

bog campers

Thursday: Bog

On Thursday, we discovered the beautiful bog at the Reserve. The researchers learned how to use quadrants to determine percent cover of plants throughout the bog.

soil corerWe investigated the differences between soil from the bog and soil from the forest path to demonstrate how wet the bog actually is, despite its field-like appearance.

canivorous plantSome of our campers designed their own carnivorous plants after learning about the adaptations of most bog plants.

Friday: Forest

woodsThe researchers used their observation skills to discover the various kinds of trees, plants and wildlife that resides in the forest.

LNTAll of the researchers completed their week long experience with a 20 minute solo reflective walk along the Laird-Norton boardwalk.

The researchers completed science fair projects which they presented to their parents and the Wells Reserve staff at the end of the week. They were presented with a small gift and a Wildlife Defender certificate for all their hard work throughout the week!

Shaza and I were sad to see this great group of campers leave us, but we know they will continue to defend wildlife with their new scientific abilities!

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