Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fieldwork and nerpa encounter

Today we focused totally on our fieldwork project in small groups. A
great deal of data collection was performed. The biostation mood
overall is quite exhausted, but we roused ourselves as we were treated
to a talk by the wonderful Vladimir Munkhanov, who provided
fascinating account of the Buryat people (the native Siberians in the
Lake Baikal region). It was such a treat to hear, and nice to have
time all together after a hectic day doing independent scientific
investigations in the field. Other than the many hikers who meandered
up and down the lake-side trail, the members of the Wellesley-Baikal
team were seen flitting back and forth between the docks of the
village, decked out in waders, bathing suits, and wading shoes while
toting some truly ingenious invented equipment to collect the data for
our ongoing research project.
This morning we had a rare and fantastic nerpa discovery, which was
thrilling after only seeing them briefly in small glimpses as they
occasionally come up for air in the waters of Bolshie Koty. Lily,
Sergei, and Victoria spotted a nerpa (pictured above) sunning itself
on a rock, right next to the shore! It was quite oblivious to human
presence, and took its merry time to swim away. It was remarkable to
see it swim in the wild, as compared to the caged nerpa of the
Listvianka Baikal museum earlier in the week. Another remarkable
swimmer was seen in Baikal today as well; Victoria heroically dove
into the Lake to retrieve an important piece of sampling equipment
that had become caught under a dock. After trying with boat oars,
gloves, and all sorts of ingenious devices, we realized that the only
way to get it was for her to go in, and she truly emerged a champion.
We are looking forward to a good night's sleep, and a full day of data
collection and analysis tomorrow.
Lily and Kate

No comments:

Post a Comment