Mary E. Power, Professor

Closed (1) Food webs in rivers and watersheds/Eyes on the Eel

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

Environments (light and temperature regimes, flood scour, habitat structure) vary in partially predictable ways down river drainage networks. We are using this variation to probe the effect on productivity and disturbance regimes on the distributions, abundances, performances and ecosystem impacts of a variety of organisms in the Eel River and its tributaries, within the Angelo Coast Range Reserve. We have expanded this research to consider river-to-ocean influences with particular emphasis on the export of river algae into the Eel River's estuary near Ferndale. URAP researchers during fall and spring semesters would be involved laboratory analyses of organisms and preparing samples for isotope and elemental analyses. They may also be involved in data entry and GIS analyses (it would be useful to know or learn Excel and R). URAP students interested in summer field research could participate in our Eyes on the Eel Surveys--during which a team of 8-10 faculty and students measure physical factors, algae, invertebrates and fish at 4 tributary and 4 adjacent mainstem sites down the South Fork and Mainstem Eel Rivers. Undergraduates interested in doing original field research could select study organisms from a broad range of taxa (algae, cyanobacteria, and trees, or stream insects, fish, spiders, lizards, birds, or bats), and would pick up a variety of laboratory, field, and experimental methods.



Undergradswould assist with lab sample preparation and data entry for projects that relate LiDar (high resolution airborne laser altimetry) data of topography to light and temperature regimes, and these to environmental controls affecting algae, aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles, and bats. We also have a lot of data entry, and user-friendly controlled databases that will help you learn algae and insects.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Phil Georgakakos, Graduate Student

Qualifications: It will be helpful if undergraduates have field experience (e.g. the Bio 1b Field Section) or have taken some natural history courses (particularly entomology or phycology courses), statistics, and have some basic computer skills (knowledge of Excel, statistical and graphics packages). For field projects, camping, river wading, and hiking experience would also be desirable. Experience with microscopes (compound and dissecting) would be helpful but not essential. Patience, commitment, and interest in ecology and natural history are the most essential qualifications.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Angelo Coast Range Reserve
42101 Wilderness Rd
Branscomb, CA 95417
707 984 6653

Related website: http://angelo.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/power

Closed (2) Distribution and toxicity of cyanobacteria in rivers of the California North Coast

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

Since 2002, at least 11 dogs have died in the Eel River of Northern California due to toxins produced by cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that form part of the algal community in freshwater environments. At times cyanobacteria produce toxins which are harmful to humans, pets, and livestock visiting the river. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are less edible than other algae, so if they dominate an environment there are important consequences for the aquatic food web. We are studying the distributions of several important cyanobacteria in contrasting habitats that change down the river drainage network, from tributaries to sunny mainstems, and with season, during transition from higher winter to lower summer base flows, in the Eell River. We want to discover how different algal taxa respond to seasonally and spatially changing light, temperature, and flow, and how they interact with each other over the summer drought period in different environmental settings.

Undergraduates will assist Keith Bouma-Gregson in processing algal and cyanotoxin samples collected in summer 2016. Students will also be trained in microscopic identification of algae, cyanobacteria, and benthic macroinvertebrates. There also be weekend trips up (2-3 each semester) to the Eel River to collect algal and water samples. Students are welcome to join on sampling trips, but it is not mandatory to participate.





Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Keith Bouma-Gregson, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: Maturity, patience, commitment, and interest in ecology and natural history are the most essential qualifications. It will be helpful if undergraduates have field experience and have taken some natural history or ecology courses, but this is not required. Experience with microscopes (compound and dissecting) would be helpful but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Angelo Coast Range Reserve
42101 Wilderness Rd
Branscomb, CA 95417
707 984 6653

Related website: http://angelo.berkeley.edu/
Related website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/power

Closed (3) Phenology of Stream Food Webs for Juvenile Salmonids in Northern California

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

Response of Over-Summering Salmonids to Food web Structure and Hydraulics

With climate warming, drought, and increased summer water diversion for marijuana and viticulture, the phenology of food webs for juvenile salmon is changing in Northern California, both within and between streams. The spatial extent and seasonal duration of productive rearing habitat changes each year, depending on streamflow characteristics (magnitude, timing, duration) and food web dynamics. Understanding the biotic and abiotic conditions that promote or limit the duration of productive salmonids rearing is a major concern for scientists, resource managers, and the public.

We will investigate how seasonal changes in food web dynamics and stream hydraulics affect the population structure, density, behavior, and diet of Eel River salmonids and the food webs on which they depend. Video analyses calibrated with direct bankside or snorkeling observations of fish densities, size structure, and behavior of will occur bi-weekly between May and September (2017) as well as invertebrate drift and standing crop, and algal photosynthesis rates. Specific hydraulic thresholds (e.g. thalweg flow depths at riffle crests) and food web structure will be evaluated numerically and and assessed as predictor variables for spatial and temporal variation in fish growth, habitat (riffle versus mainstem) choices, diet, and feeding and antagonistic behavior.

Undergraduates will assist Gabe Rossi in fish behavior video and aquatic invertebrate analyses. Tasks will include working with novel stereo-video software to evaluate salmonid behaviors, identifying and measuring stream invertebrates collected in drift samples and working with data entry and analysis.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Gabe Rossi, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Patience, commitment, and interest in streams, stream ecology and natural history are the most essential qualifications. It will be helpful if undergraduates have field experience (e.g. the Bio 1b Field Section) or have taken some natural history courses (particularly entomology courses), statistics, and have some basic computer skills (knowledge of Excel, statistical and graphics packages).. Experience with microscopes (compound and dissecting) would be helpful but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Related website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/power
Related website: http://angelo.berkeley.edu