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  • Courtney Lee
  •  | Biology

Biology Labs

October 9, 2011

Ah, yet another incredible lab last week. My freshwater ecology class set out to the Root River on Thursday to explore the fascinating world of macroinvertebrates. Okay, I’m kidding a little here. Macroinvertebrates are not the most exciting subject in environmental biology for me; however, collecting them was a blast. My friend Peter Borash and I traveled up-river with our waders, a fine-mesh net, plastic jar, and a tweezers looking for as many macroinvertebrates that we could find. Peter and I usually have a few laughs during labs, because 90% of the time I grab the pair of waders that are too short for me, making it very difficult to trek in muddy or rocky habitats. I am notorious with Dr. Cochran (the chair of biology, and I think maybe takes part as Dean of students? Don’t quote me on that), anyway, I am notorious for destroying waders, which are basically rubber pants that keep you dry. I have ruined two pairs within two semesters of using them. The first time was during my sophomore year backpack shocking, I stepped on a nail that went right through my waders and into my foot –and now leaks a little in the left foot, and the second time I sat down in them, which again were too short and I ripped a huge hole in them. Whoops.

We also did some backpack electroshocking on the river to collect various species of freshwater fish. Mark Ross caught the second mudpuppy ever collected in a Saint Mary’s lab–which was pretty exciting. In addition, we caught hogsuckers, banded and rainbow darters, green sunfish, small mouth bass, and a stonecat or two. Saint Mary’s environmental biology labs have given me the best memories of my life. Here, your classmates become part of your family, I love that. Below is a photo of me and a quillback taken first semester of my junior year in my Fisheries Biology class. We caught it using an electric boat shocker.

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