Monday, June 23, 2014
Research Project and Macro ID
A far cry from this morning's in-the-field stream testing, we spent the evening testing two methods of insect identification. The first method was the traditional dichotomous key, with paragraphs of field marks and characteristics of each macroinvertebrate we attempted to identify. We managed to stumble through three identifications, but we struggled with the terminology and the lack of clear pictures.
Then we were introduced to the other method. This method was a new, interactive website created by Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This website had great photos and a lot of information that was very easy to navigate through. Using this new website, we identified three macroinvertebrates accurately and quickly.
At the end, we had a discussion on which source we preferred, as well as the pros and cons of each. The website was clearly the favorite, but we recognized that the website needs WiFi and a device that has to stay dry - which certainly aren't guaranteed while testing a creek!