Project Description: 

This field and laboratory-based project will use pitfall traps to monitor the diversity of ground-dwelling arthropods (primarily beetles) in a region of the Ben Lomond Mountains of Santa Cruz Co. Monitoring will be a done by teams consisting of UC undergraduates, graduate student researchers, and members of the Native Stewardship Corps of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust. The study area includes forested units assigned either control (no cutting or fuel removal), ‘shaded’ fuel break treatment (moderate fuel removal), or open-canopy oak (high fuel removal). Pitfall trap arrays in each of the treatments types are set for a one-month period twice a year. The entomological aspect of the study will examine how the various fuel treatment impact the diversity and abundance of the arthropods. Students on this SPUR project will contribute this larger monitoring effort by learning to identify arthropods and by sorting trap samples. Optional field trips to the sampling site to deploy and recover traps will be possible and encouraged.

Undergraduate's Role: 

Learning basic arthropod identification (mostly beetles) and sorting samples. Entering sample data into spreadsheets. Optional field trips to the sample site to set and recover traps includes hiking off trail and carrying up to 35 lb. of equipment. 

Undergraduate's Qualifications: 

Attention to detail, able to work at a microscope over alcohol-preserved samples, willing to work with and learn to identify preserved arthropods. Basic spreadsheet skills. Entomological experience or strong interest preferred but not required.

On Campus
3-6 hours