You are here

maryliz.jameson's blog

Swanson Park at night

Black light date night at Swanson Park was interesting!  It is a postage-stamp park right in the center of town.  Although it had been a HOT day and the night was moonless, the black lights did not attract a great abundance of insects :(  We did, however, see lots of interesting orders (Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, among the basics), a fabulous orb-weaving spider that was trying to subdue a dragonfly, and really cool larvae of the Polyphemus moth!!  Emmy and Kyle retrieved 3 from a pin oak tree so that we can watch them metamorphose!!  

Comment Count: 

You made the news!

Well done!!  Thanks to everyone in the Field Ecology classes as well as a few volunteers!  You helped discover frog-killing fungus in Kansas!  See the story at

"Wichita State students discover frog-killing fungus in Kansas

A group of Wichita State University students has discovered evidence of frogs infested with the deadly chytrid fungus in the Wichita area. This is the first report of chytrid in Kansas. The pathogenic fungus is found in all neighboring states and has caused the decline and extinction of amphibian species globally."

Comment Count: 

Pics from Chisholm stream (Aug. 17)

All frogs at this site were Acris crepitans.  Jim Mason provided this info: "Yes, all those photos are of Acris crepitans.  The dark triangular mark between the eyes is diagnostic."  I also have a video of the habitat (I can send this in email).  All images are in order.  If you have any questions about frog individuals, holler!


Comment Count: 

NIght Time on Ninnescah


We had a very good night on Ninnescah!  It was quite a comparison from the past 2 summers of drought!  We called in a barred owl and a screech owl; heard bull frogs and cricket frogs; played with turd rollers rolling their booty; figured out the temperature based on snowy tree cricket chirps; brought in THREE species of underwing moths by sugaring trees and at lights; saw LOTS of aquatic insects at light (very few in the last 2 years); and enjoyed the milky way! The river was so amazingly high that we could not search for bombardier beetles or eye shine.  Such a change for JULY when it is typically low.  Strange extremes in weather. The night lab is a  novel opportunity for many students who have never been exposed to nature at night.  For some students, the night lab is the first time to see the milky way! 



Comment Count: 

Flood warnings... drive carefully to Ninnescah!

With all of deluge of rain that we have had lately (record rains and record LOW temperatures for the month of July!!), there are flood warnings for the Ninnescah and Arkansas rivers. Please be especially careful on the rural roads when driving to Ninnescah.  It should be a very interesting night at the field station!

Mary Liz 

Statement as of 10:54 AM CDT on July 30, 2013

The National Weather Service in Wichita, KS has issued a 

* Flood Warning for 
the Little Arkansas River near Sedgwick.
* Until Wednesday afternoon.
* At 10:00 am Tuesday the stage was 21.3 feet.
* Flood stage is 22.0 feet.
* Minor flooding is forecast.
* Forecast... rise above flood stage by late this morning and continue
to rise to near 23.0 feet by this evening.The river will fall below
flood stage by early Wednesday morning.
* Impact... at 23.0 feet... river overlow spreads across agricultural 
fields and begins to flow across 109th street just 0.2 miles east 
of Ridge Road. 

                  Fld observed forecast 7 am
location stg stg day time Wed Thu Fri
Sedgwick 22.0 21.3 Tue 10 am 21.1 17.9 10.3


Comment Count: 

Presentation Line-up and other info


On Thursday, we will meet at Hubbard Hall Room 304 for presentations by the project leaders.  Each team will have a 30-minute slot for their presentation with 10 minutes for set-up and transition.  Some outside guests have been invited to hear your results, so now if your time to shine!  The presentation line-up will be as follows:

9:00-11:15  Course summary

11:20  Dragonfly Territoriality Research

12:00  Ninnescah River Fish Research 

12:40  Forensic Insects Research

1:20    Frogs and Chytrid Research

2:00   Last good-byes!

Please have a copy of your powerpoint on a thumb-drive and have it ready to give to me at the beginning of class.  Excel files of your data can also be provided at this time (these may be in your powerpoint).  Original data (copies/images) should also be included. These data are essential in repeating your research. 

Note that the information for evaluating your presentations has been posted on Blackboard (called “August 1 Presentation Evaluation”).  The largest hurdle for many of you will be determining your hypothesis(es) and how you will test/analyze this hypothesis(es) based on the data that you have gathered.  Links to some info on statistics that you may need are available on Blackboard under “Resources”. A good example presentation can be found under “Resources”. 

Congratulations!  Based on the positive chytrid results that you gathered this summer (as well as the data from last summer), the WSU media specialists are interested in developing a story!  They may ask for a field event that would be open to the media where we would collect additional data (possibly at Chisholm Creek Nature Center).  They may come the class presentations and learn more.  Or, they may ask to talk with a group of you.  Because of the importance of interactions with science and the media, we will spend a brief time discussing interactions with the media on Thursday morning in class.  If you wish to participate in the media coverage, you must consider that the media is seeking news “sound-bites”.  Think about fact-based answers to the key questions that media will ask: who, what, where, when, how, and why.  You must have the answers to these key questions prepared before convening with the media.  In preparation of your discussions with the media, review the following article on Blackboard (Resources: Communicating Science to the Public) and the following URLS at the Science Media Center (these are food for thought):
Also review the URL at the US Department of Health and Human Services:

I look forward to hearing about your findings and results on Thursday!

See you tomorrow, rain or shine, at the Ninnescah Biological Station. 

Mary Liz

Comment Count: 

assignments and field station directions


Due to switching the pollination and forensics classes, there may have been a bit of a mix-up in class assignments.  Here's the run-down:

Pollination:  No assignment due (only data sheets)

Biotic Integrity:   Some of you provided 2 paragraphs on a threatened or endangered fish species in Kansas (as indicated in lecture and on the field protocol); some of you provided answers to the questions in "Discussion and Significance".  As long as you provided one of these, I will consider this acceptable in terms of the assignment for this class.  Also, please thank Josh and Kevin by posting something on Ninnescah Life (pictures are always appreciated!).  I will send the URL to Josh.  

Forensics:  Most of you provided answers to the questions under discussion and significance.  If you did not, I will accept these until Saturday at 5pm.  You need only answer the questions with regards to habitat that you sampled.

     Upland Prairie Transect: Comment on the following:

      Do you think that results for the creek bed transect will be very similar to those of the prairie?  If not, why might they differ? 

      If we examined succession instead of diversity, how might succession differ between habitats?

      Discuss the limitations of the study. For example, did the sampling method represent all of the insects?

      Lowland Prairie Transect: Comment on the following:

      Do you think that results for the prairie transect will be very similar to those of the creek bed?  If not, why might they differ? 

     If we examined succession instead of diversity, how might succession differ between habitats?

     Discuss the limitations of the study. For example, did the sampling method represent all of the insects?

The directions for the Field Station are at:  See you there on Tuesday at 7:45!


Comment Count: 

National Moth Week!


National Moth Week is July 20-28 
Citizen scientists around the world will be setting up white sheets and lights in backyards, woods and fields July 20-28 for the second annual National Moth Week, a global science project begun last year to encourage the public to observe and document one of nature’s most diverse and misunderstood creatures. 

We're on the map!  I hope that this year is better than the last two DRY years!  I hope that we will contribute some data.  Get your cameras ready!

Comment Count: 

Frog and chytrid at the pond site

Images from the frog and chytrid research (pond site).  

The swabber and data recorders at the pond site
Audrey wrangling frogs
Mike wrangling frogs
"I know you're in there!"
The habitat for the pond site
Comment Count: 

More pollination images

More images from pollination research.

Liatris large patch
Oliver and Ratibida
Wishing we were done
Ratibida pinnata (note pollen)
Comment Count: 


Wichita State University
Generated on 2011. This website is continuously updated.
Comments can be sent to Mary Liz Jameson.
Designed by Bioadventures.