Thursday, July 16, 2009
Volunteering with SYRCL
I was Invited by the South Yuba River Citizen League to be involved with their Upper Watershed Assessment on the headwaters of the South Yuba River and assist with the aquatic macro invertebrate study in the Van Norden area. As an assistant to Christine who headed the bug study, I was more than ready to get my "bug" eyes on and get busy. This was a unique study as it also involved The Gateway Mountain Center, a place-based learning and adventure program for kids, and young adults. We worked with a private charter school out of Houston, Texas. These kids were the creme of the crop, only being honored into the program by their top grades. Though they came from the city, these attentive pupils had some great background on our Sierra Nevada, and it showed. We did cross transects of three different riffles, runs, and pools collecting specimens. The students got to learn how to collect, process, identify aquatic insects, and learn about their habitat and behavior. It was such a pleasure to share the world of trout food with these kids as they were so interested, and consumed every bit of info Christine and I could offer them! Besides learning about the bugs, they got to get involved with on site birds, native grasses, plants, and stream hydrology. There was an abundance of wild rainbow trout in the stream, schooled up in the deeper pools. The high light was during the introduction from Jen Hemmert of SRYCL, a pack of coyotes not far off were yipping and yapping, welcoming us to their home!