I arrived at la station biologique des Laurentides last Friday evening as part of a course named Freshwater Ecology (BIO4158 or BIO4558). The main bulk of fieldwork happened on Saturday when my group went on and off boats 3 times due to sampling from 3 different lakes. Saturday evening and Sunday up until 14h (I like using the 24 hours format) were dedicated to extracting quantitative data from the samples obtained by boat. We left at 15h. Here’s a little (maybe not so little) recapitulation of the event.
18h30/Friday: A stop at Hawkesbury so that the professor, TAs + 21 students can sabotage the Timmies washrooms. I went for a little walk and saw a big white ball on the other side of a river. I went back to the bus to get my binoculars. Turns out it was only a gull. Nothing much else to see–oh, a cat! Time was up; I didn’t want to leave!
6h30/Saturday: My group of 3 volunteered to be the first ones out (all other teams started at 9). We walked in the dark to Lac Triton where we did our Zooplankton samples. I won’t elaborate on the techniques and terminologies, but you can always drop a comment if you’d like me to.
The sampling went by quite quickly and soon we were ready to head back. “May I paddle? You’ll probably have to help me quite a bit”, I said in French. The professor let me paddle and I lost count of how many times she said “only the right (paddle)!!” by the time we reached shore. We had breakfast, then a break (for being up so early).
During the break, I went on a birding walk and saw my first Northern Flicker (!). No picture *sigh*. A few Chickadees and it started to pour. The whole class knew it was a pouring weekend. After the break, our team headed to Lac Cromwell for Discharge samplings and then Lac Croche for Water Column ones (my favorite was the Secchi disk, simple yet reliable), an hour an a half spent at each lake. There was lunch after Lac Cromwell. Dinner, laboratories: zooplankton counts; alkalinity, O2, chorophyll a, sulphate, iron, and other tests. That was it; we left for Ottawa and we will be back on the 17th of October.