One of my favorite papers last year was "Aquatic Ecological Assessment" taught by Dr. Kevin Simon. As part of this course I did an analysis using data collected by the Auckland Council from a set of freshwater streams in the Auckland region. The report makes use of several macroinvertebrate biotic indices: macroinvertebrate community index (MCI), semi-quantitative macroinvertebrate community index (SQMCI), taxa richness (TR) and the percentage of Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly) and Trichoptera (caddisfly) (%EPT). I used R to perform all the calculations and to generate all the graphs and plots included in the analysis.
Someone (no idea who!) nominated my mate Sean and I for a "Love your place" award. We were nominated under the category of "Kahikatea" for our work with the NZ dotterel at Piha. According to Ecomatters, the organisers of the event, the Kahikate award is given to an outstanding individual volunteer taking action on a local environmental issue.
As part of a paper on marine protected areas (MPAs) that I'm taking this semester, we went to Leigh and Long Bay to experience two of the most iconic no-take MPAs in the country. It was a great opportunity to experience first-hand the impacts of these two reserves but also to learn about the challenges and difficulties they are currently facing. Plus we were lucky enough to attend great talks by marine conservation legends Roger Grace and Tony Enderby among others.
I have been doing some work reviewing the literature on marine protecte areas (MPAs) and how effective they are in protecting mobile species. This recent paper from White et al. (2017) demonstrates how large MPAs are capable of providing a high degree of protection, although incomplete, to mobile pelagic species such as the grey reef shark.
Although it feels like as yesterday, it has been over a year since I started uploading observations into iNaturalistNZ. I thought it would be cool to export all my NZ Dotterel observations and visualize them in a compelling way. There are certainly heaps of ways to do this but for this particular case I decided to use a density map. I reckon it is a good way to help raise some awareness about these wee birds at Piha.
I first learned about the case of the passenger pigeon, Ectopistes Migratorius, when I read "Resurrection Science" by M. R. O'Connor, which by the way I highly recommend. I did find the case extremely interesting due to its special circumstances and I ended up choosing it as the main topic for an essay about de-extinction of species.
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