During the first three years of my PhD, I had the privilege of spending anywhere from six to thirteen weeks of a summer in Alaska conducting the field work for my project. I’m stuyding the impacts of migration on divergence of the Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). To do this I collaborated with the US National Park Service, and am very lucky that I stumbled on the opportunity to work with them. The following pictures show some of my journey to find and study the stickleback.
This is a map of Katmai National Park and Preserve, where I spent most of my time.
Katmai National Park and Preserve
We packed up to load the plane.
Stevi and Ella in King Salmon, heading down to the dock to load the plane, 2011.
The plane that took us to most of my sites.
In the slip on the Naknek River, at King Salmon, Alaska.
We sampled fish using minnow traps and seines in many places.
Some of the 2010 field crew at JoJo Lake, Scott, Matthew and Kyle.
Inspecting our catch for Kokanee, stickleback and any other critters. Matthew, Scott, Bob, Kyle and me, 2010. Photo: Rowan Barrett.
Traps at JoJo Lake.
The stickleback can be plentiful.
And then we processed our samples.
Fin-clipping and preserving fish next to JoJo Lake, 2012.
Most of our pictures were taken when the weather was perfect, but the bulk of the days it wasn’t. With very patchy radio contact, we waited for our flight for 8 hours one day in the rain and the wind.
Perhaps four hours into our wait. Nonvianuk Lake, 2011.
Katmai is known for its bugs.
Just emphasizing that point further.
But, I can’t complain, we got to see some pretty amazing places.
Tundra, King Salmon, Alaska.
Valley of 10 000 smokes, the valley of ash created in the wake of Novarupta.
From the ridge between two lakes, looking down at JoJo Lake. Kyle and me, 2011.
Naknek Lake, from Dumpling mountain, 2011.
Bay of Islands, Naknek Lake, 2012.
Fure’s cabin, where people stay at the Bay of Islands. Fure was the trapper who settled and built this special cabin there over 100 yrs ago.
Our small camp on an island in the eastern part of Kukaklek Lake in the north of the park, 2012.
Swikshak, on Shelikoff strait, Pacific coast, 2012.
Meshik Lake, Aniakchak National Monument, about half-way down the Alaska peninsula, 2012.
And we got to see spectacular flora and fauna.
Threespine stickleback, Lake Camp, Naknek Lake, 2011.
Bob, a famous fisherman, with his beloved King Salmon, 2011.
At Brooks falls, 2010.
bear meets moose, 2011.
and some more….
King Salmon, our base, is a fishing community. The population swells in the summer with salmon fisheries.
And I am learning, ever so slowly, how to fish.
My first silver (Coho) salmon, 2012.
I am one very lucky student!