Exploring what it means to be a researcher…

For the past two weeks with Superior Streams, I have been working in the office preparing for the coming field work. In order to get all our ducks in a row, I’ve been writing protocols for the data collection itself, as well as for the crew’s safety while working in and around streams.  Now, of course you’re thinking “wow, that’s the greatest and most fun job ever!”… Ok, maybe you’re not; however, the experience I am gaining is very well rounded and incorporates all aspects of research.  I’m not only gaining field experience collecting data and counting fish and plants, I am also learning the logistics and politics that are required before any data is collected from the field.

On June 7, Rob Stewart, Jason Freeman, Nathan Wilson, Sara Cockhill, and myself went to Birch Beach Creek restoration site at the highway crossing. The trip was used to help prepare Sara and I for future field work. It also served as an update of the restorative success of the area for Rob, Jason, and Nathan.

I found the trip very useful and informative. I was able to get more practice with the field equipment, along with more knowledge on site selection in relation to stream morphology (how to pick the best location on a stream to get the most accurate and representative data). It may sound very constructed and instructional, however, it had a laid back and relaxed feel. The drive itself from Thunder Bay to Birch Beach Creek was very scenic; we saw an eagle and a hawk while we drove along the tree covered, rocky cliffs along the highway.