Chapter 5: Literature. So much literature.

Reading is a large part of science, as you may or may not know. The past two weeks we’ve been tasked with assembling a few literature reviews and compiling data.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife does a lot of work reviewing papers and writing reports. We did preliminary research on a the effect of beaver dams on bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a threatened fish native to the Klamath basin, and other fish. We compiled a report based on previous studies, and this research could be used to make management decisions in streams in the area at a later time.

My desk looks something like this. I do say “something like” because this picture is staged. I couldn’t find my highlighter when I decided to take the picture, and I moved some pads of paper around. The contents is accurate. The arrangement is not.

In an effort to get ahead of the curve, we were also tasked with compiling reports on species endemic to the Klamath basin that are not well studied or monitored. These included three species of freshwater sculpin and blue chub (Gila coerulea). Literature review can always be a bit of a grind, but when you’re in the zone it’s exciting, as well as educational.

Something possibly more interesting that I also did during what I’ll call our “indoor weeks”, is historical distribution compilation. We had a selection of newspaper articles that mentioned bull trout. I read through them and made note of where exactly the fish were reported throughout time. Newspapers really are time machines. There were articles from as far back as 1892! Here are some examples. Click to embiggen (the bottom row is fun).

Brianne Nguyen
USFWS, Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office

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