SCIRP Workshop: Research Skills (point-intercept sampling)
Participants learned how to sample plant community composition using a point-intercept approach. We used the CHRRP field site on the UCR campus to practice identifying plants and collecting observations using the datasheets for the island work.
After the official 10 members were selected to participate in SCIRP, those members attended the workshop that discussed the preparation of the field guide. In order to sample the species composition of the established transects, the officers curated the known plant species on the island from past surveying as well as iNaturalist. With these numerous species, each of the members was assigned ~5-7 species and instructed how to curate a field guide with photos and characteristics (e.g. leaf shape, texture, color, etc.) in order to assist us in the field in identifying potential plants.
For many, this was their first time seeing many of these plants and provided a great opportunity to learn about plant species and how to identify them!
Below are a few examples of our final field guide with possible plant species previously found on SCI.
A workshop was hosted by Secretary, Tejas Nair, to discuss the marine science background on Santa Cruz Island. The sampling methods were also explained in more detail as well as the planning of the agenda.
Leaders led a discussion on "Passive Recovery of Vegetation after Herbivore Eradication on Santa Cruz Island, California" (Beltran 2014) and "Some Ecological Effects of Feral Sheep on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA" (Van Vuren & Coblentz 1987) with students who were interested in joining the project. Reading and discussing these papers was essential to the participation of this project because they give an in-depth background to the natural history of Santa Cruz Island as well as describing the original transects and sampling methods in which this project intends to replicate to help further inform post-grazing plant recovery.
Students developed a growing interest in this project and this workshop promoted a lively discussion about the effects of grazing and restoration ecology.
In preparation for the upcoming SCIRP trip, the co-leaders of SCIRP (Rhea, Advyth, and Caryn) organized and hosted topical workshops relating to the trip. The goals of this workshop series was to give relevant background regarding Santa Cruz Island, details and logistics of the SCIRP project, and provide essential skills and knowledge in order to implement research in the field.
The first workshop of the series happened at the beginning of the winter quarter of 2022, the co-leaders of SCIRP hosted an informational meeting that overviewed the project to students interested in participating in the research project. This virtual meeting gave a background of the natural history pertaining to the research site, Santa Cruz Island, the objectives of the project, and the tentative trip itinerary. New students were introduced SEEDS as an organization and what the club does aside from this specific project.