The goal of this project is to quantify the diversity of foraging behaviors of juvenile salmon and trout rearing in streams distributed across a complex landscape and during the historic drought conditions of summer 2021. This work focuses on endangered coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and threatened steelhead trout (O. mykiss) rearing in the Lagunitas Creek watershed in Marin County. This project is part of a larger effort aimed at informing restoration and monitoring efforts in the Lagunitas Watershed, especially in light of increasing climate variability. During summer 2021, we used a non-invasive method of underwater video to record juvenile feeding behavior at three different points in time and at 5 different sites. As the summer progressed, temperature, dissolved oxygen, prey availability and water levels all changed - but at differential rates across our 5 sites, which we hypothesize will result in different foraging behaviors and growth of juvenile salmonids rearing in different parts of the watershed.
Note that this work can be entirely remote if the student prefers. The role of the student will be to use video analysis software to measure and record activity of juvenile salmonids from underwater videos collected during summer 2021. The student will be trained in how to use the video analysis software, follow the established protocol, identify different fish species, and recognize various foraging behaviors. Students will be trained in these areas the first few weeks, and then will be expected to work largely independently as a member of the video analysis team.
No prior experience is required, but skills and/or coursework in any of these areas will be advantageous and should be mentioned in your application:
An interest in fish ecology/freshwater ecology
Photo/video editing skills
Experience in managing spreadsheets in Excel
Fish identification skills