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Listen here to Episode 5: "Getting your feet wet"
Dr. LeeAnn Fishback (left) from the Churchill Northern Studies Center and Dr. Ben Cash (right) from the University of Central Arkansas.

Episode 5: "Getting your feet wet"

Environmental change occurs on the scale of tens, hundreds, and thousands of years. When scientists take a water sample from a lake, they only get a tiny snapshot of the lake conditions at that moment making it impossible to infer if anything has actually changed. That's where long-term monitoring programs come in.

Dr. Ben Cash, a biologist interested in frogs, teamed up with Dr. LeeAnn Fishback, a geochemist interested in wetland systems, to initiate a long-term monitoring program of the wetlands around Churchill, Manitoba. They have 10 years of data from the wetlands and are compiling the variation between years in the hope to begin to see some environmental trends.

To help with the extensive sampling and to teach the next generation of young scientists, Dr. Cash and Dr. Fishback began working with high school students as part of the EarthWatch Institute with Paige Harms.

So what's happening to our wetlands? Listen to find out!

For more info about EarthWatch, you can visit the student blog or earthwatch.org. Click the links for more info about the boreal chorus frog and wood frog.

(Thanks to Hope Batcheller for recordings of the boreal chorus and wood frogs.)

Paige Harms, with the EarthWatch Institute, holding a wood frog in Churchill.

The main attraction:
Left - Boreal Chorus Frog
Right - Wood frog
How do these frogs survive the harsh Churchill winters?

The EarthWatch students are broken into three teams, biological, physical, and geochemical, to take samples and measurements in a wetland and track long term change in these systems.

Avioyak - the buzzing in ears - from Churchill, Manitoba.
My fourth year research thesis in Knowledge Integration, Centre for Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo.
2012 © Kaleigh Eichel
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Dr. LeeAnn Fishback, Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Dr. Ed Jernigan, Centre for Knowledge Integration, University of Waterloo