Former Grassland Mointoring Technician at The Nature Conservancy
about 2 years ago
The days varied depending on the project that we were working on at the time. For the first project, which was determining habitat sutability for the Endangered Species The Dakota Skipper Butterfly, we were doing frame transepts. A typical day would be getting up at 5:30am eating breakfast and packing a sack lunch. Then leaving the TNC field house around 6am and driving an hour to our sampling location. I was part of a three person crew and once we arrived at the sampling location, we split off into three different directions with our gear. For each sampling site, you would use a gps to find a waypoint to begin your transect. Then you used a compass to determine which direction to run out the tape measure for the transect. At each sampling point along the transect, you places down a pvc pipe frame. And you would look in the smallest section to the largest looking for three grasses and three for a that the butterflies used as hosts. Each transect was between 500-800m apart. You would hike to three to four transects, take a break in the field to eat your sack lunch, and then do another 3-5 transects. Each sampling sites had priority 1-3 of transects to complete. You spent about a week at each sampling point before driving 6-8 hours to another TNC field house near another sampling location in SD, ND, and MN. The other project was a 10 year adaptive management study using a rapid belt line transect sampling method.