Patina Mendez, Lecturer

Closed (1) Species distribution modeling with Caddisflies

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

Species distribution models use collection-based observations (museum specimens) and relate where we find species to the local habitat conditions. This relationship can be used to infer where else we expect to find these species, which can then be used to ask questions about historical distributions and how species distributions may change over time. In this study we use museum and biomonitoring data for modeling distributions of California Caddisflies. We will also be scanning collections and databasing material from the Essig Museum of Entomology at Berkeley to enhance our current dataset.

Qualifications: Skills: Georeferencing collection information, working with maps. Qualifications: Interest in entomology! Basic GIS (geographical information systems) skills and willingness to learn the statistical program R (or python).

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Closed (2) Freshwater aquatic insects of Strawberry Creek

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

Strawberry Creek is an urban stream the flows through the UC Berkeley campus. Over the past 30 years, the campus has focused on improving water quality, restoring habitat, and using the stream as a campus laboratory. In this project, we are conducting post-project monitoring to understand how benthic macroinvertebrates (freshwater aquatic insects and other invertebrates) use the habitat from the newly restored section of the Strawberry Creek confluence in the Eucalyptus Grove by comparing it to other sections of the stream. The current phase of the project will focus on the lab processing of the samples which requires us to sort the benthic macroinvertebrates from the collected material and and identify them using dichotomous keys.

Sort and identify aquatic insects and other organisms from samples collected in Strawberry Creek. Work using a dissecting scope and use dichotomous and pictoral keys to identify organisms. Students will learn how to recognize freshwater aquatic invertebrates and identify organisms to the order and family level. Some fieldwork to make new collections.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Closed (3) Museum Studies of Trichoptera (Caddisflies)

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

Studies in ecology and evolution rely on properly curated museum material and access to museum records and specimen. Caddisflies, in the insect order Trichoptera, are aquatic insects closely related to moths and butterflies. In this project, the student will assist with labeling, organizing, and curating caddisflies. The student will also contribute to databasing and georeferencing caddisfly material in the Essig Museum of Entomology. In addition, the student will scan historic literature and link PDFs for the Trichoptera Literature Database web project (www.trichopteralit.umn.edu).

Labeling specimen, databasing caddisfly material into the Essig Museum database, scanning and uploading PDF material. Student will learn the importance of curation and proper and careful specimen handling.

Qualifications: Interest in entomology! Careful habits and attention to detail. Freshman or sophomore preferred that will like to work on the project for multiple semesters.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Related website: http://www.trichopteralit.umn.edu
Related website: http://essig.berkeley.edu

Open (4) Aquatic Insects of Intermittent Streams

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before February 5th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning January 9th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 23rd at 8 AM.

Intermittent streams are streams that only flow for part of the year, and often are dry throughout the summer. Aquatic insects rely on having access to water for at least some of their life cycle. In this project, we explore species diversity of adult aquatic insects during the dry months to understand their life history. We want to know which species are flying at different times of year. We'll be focusing on caddisflies and a few other aquatic insect species. We will also link these light-trap samples to in-stream populations. The current phase of the project will focus on the lab processing of the samples which requires us to sort the benthic macroinvertebrates from the collected material and and identify them using dichotomous keys. We'll also be doing some in-stream collections once it begins raining this fall.

Sort and identify adult aquatic insects and other organisms from light trap samples. Work using a dissecting scope and use dichotomous and pictoral keys to identify organisms. Students will learn how to recognize freshwater aquatic invertebrates and identify organisms to the order and family level. Some fieldwork to make new collections.

Qualifications: Interest in entomology! Careful habits and attention to detail. Freshman or sophomore preferred that will like to work on the project for multiple semesters.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs