Field work and data collection under Dr. Jeffrey Foltz
Excerpt from Statement of Purpose:
To gain additional experience in fisheries, I assisted Dr. Jeffery Foltz, a professor of fisheries at Clemson with his turquoise darter (Etheostoma inscriptum) population restoration project. Six Mile Creek is a site where natural populations of this darter have diminished due to a variety of factors. I worked with two other students to gather habitat quality measurements to determine habitat suitability of different reaches of the stream. We would determine the current populations of each reach by using electrofishing. When populations were low, we would supplement these populations with darters of the same species from a nearby stream. To monitor and evaluate the success of this program the same procedure was repeated the following year. I became familiar with equipment used to collect dissolved oxygen readings, temperature, and flow. I also learned the different ratings of substrate and areas of streams (pool, riffle, or run) as well as preferred turquoise darter habitat. I received a few introductory lessons on GIS software. We were successful and a stable population of the turquoise darters in Six Mile Creek was re-established.
Field Work and Data Collection under Dr. Eversole
I assisted Dr. Arnold Eversole, a professor of fisheries at Clemson with his investigation of rare and endangered crustacean species in South Carolina, specifically Cambarus chaugaensis. I worked with another student sampling streams in the Chauga and Chattooga watersheds by means of kick seining, dip netting, and visual searches. We would measure the crayfish carapace lengths and identify individuals as form I male, form II male, female, ovigerous female or juvenile. The data collected was used to produce ongoing population abundance and distribution estimates as well as to improve crayfish ecology understanding.