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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Northwestern College Forest, Roseville, Minnesota, USA

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Northwestern College Forest, Roseville, Minnesota, USA
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Registered: August 2011
City/Town/Province: Saint Paul
Posts: 1
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During the summer of 2011, I spent most of my time at Northwestern College for a summer program called SRI (Science Research Institute) learning about biology. For the first 2 weeks, we learned about ecology and did many experiments along with it. We did our experiments on a managed forest which is located by Lake Johanna, and the unmanaged forest located by Little Lake Johanna. During those two weeks we learned about how managed and umanaged forest can affect the trees that grow there, also the birds that lived there. Since there were 20 students there we were split up into 5 different groups. Every group did experiments with soil collecting, bird surveys, insect collection, and tree surveys in both managed and unmanaged forest.
Our first experiment was with tree surveys. We identified different tree types from both forest, height, and see if they were dead or alive trees. We measured from our starting point and measured 50 meters to the nearest tree, we keep measuring 50 meters until we got 5 different trees. We put tape around the 5 different trees, so we can remember were the point was. With that, we started to identify the trees from the managed and unmanaged forest. Each forest had different types of tree because of the environment it was in. Soon after we survey if the trees were dead or alive in both forest, and also the height of the trees. We measured 10 meters that was around the tree that we put tape around it. Within that 10 meters we recorded 15-20 different kind of trees. Unmanaged had more taller tree then managed forest did, because of soil the trees lived in the trees in unmanaged would grow taller then the managed forest did.
With the survey of different type of trees in both managed and unmanaged forest, we did our soil collection and insect surveys. We dug a hole about 5 meters from the 5 trees that we put tape around, and placed yogurt container in each hole. Placed paper plated over the yogurt container, so that insects can be attracted by the shadow that was within the yogurt container. We put the soil we dug up from the hole into another yogurt container, brought it back and put it in a sieve. Shook it about 5 minutes and different particles of soil were separated, from largest on the top and smallest on the bottom. Managed forest had more bigger soil particle, while unmanaged forest had more smaller particles. Two days after we dug the hole we came back and looked at our yogurt container. Saw that unmanaged forest had more abundance and diversity of insects, compare to the managed forest which barely had any insects in their container.
During our bird survey, we learned 9 different kind of bird calls. From a Hairy Woodpecker, House Wren, Black Chickadee, Red-Wing Black Bird, Baltimore Oriole, American Robin, European Starling, Great Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo. We went on a sunny day and on a rainy day for our bird watch. On our sunny day we heard more bird calls, because it was more calm weather. Unlike on the rainy day, there were less bird calls heard because of all the rain that was coming down and birds hiding from getting wet. From our survey we found that unmanaged forest had more diversity of birds, like Hairy Woodpeckers and Black Chickadee. Hairy Woodpeckers preferred the unmanaged forest because of the dead trees that lived there, and along with that Black Chickadee's use the Hairy Woodpecker's old home as their home after their done with it. For the managed forest, there were only a diversity of American Robins and Great Flycatchers. Both American Robin and Great Flycatcher would rather live in alive tree then dead tree, and close to water were more food and be found.
Through out our 2 weeks that we did our different experiments from the managed and unmanaged forest, we found that unmanaged was a more better forest compare to managed. Managed forest has people cleaning and fertilizing the grass and with lots of alive trees, while unmanaged forest had no cleaning like managed did plus a diversity of dead and alive trees living there. While being in this program and learning about ecology, I saw how a huge impact a forest type can affect the different kind of insects and birds that live in there. Plus the soil type and diversity of trees that are in the forest. I believe that this project is important because it shows the different kind of environment from two different forest type. By doing this project with SRI, it can benefit the community and the students that go to the forest everyday. I decided to do the Apprentice Ecologist Project because i thought it was a good idea to do this essay and show our different ways of how we study the forest around us. Writing this essay for this project might give other people ideas too, on how to do variety of experiments on learning about the forest. Learning all this made me more curious about how people themselves can affect the environment and the living thing that surrounds around it.
Date: August 12, 2011 Views: 2936 File size: 14.7kb, 77.4kb : 720 x 540
Hours Volunteered: 80
Volunteers: 20
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15 & 10 to 20
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gayan 965

Registered: July 2015
City/Town/Province: Hambantota
Posts: 1
July 27, 2015 5:55am

It is a very good project.