select entries.user_id, entries.title, entries.latitude, entries.longitude, entries.description, entries.flickr_thumb_url, entries.entry_date, entries.type, entries.entry_identifier, entries.id from entries, trip_users where trip_users.trip_id=6 and trip_users.user_id=entries.user_id and entries.active='yes' and entries.trip_id=6 order by entries.entry_date desc

New Zealand, Spring 2012

January 3 - May 1, 2012

Lewis & Clark Overseas program to New Zealand, spring semester 2012, led by Greg Hermann

Program Leaders

fancy

Pre-release Health Inspection of a North Island Brown Kiwi
March 28, 2012

This is a North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) that was hatched in the captive breeding program, Operation Nest Egg, at Mt. Bruce Sanctuary. The program involves removing newly laid kiwi eggs from burrows, incubating them, hatching them, and raising the chicks until they reach 1200 grams (the size at which they can fight off a stoat). Once they reach this weight, they are inspected by Department of Conservation rangers to make sure they are healthy and fit to be released. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology

location: Mount Bruce, Wellington, New Zealand

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fancy

Mt. Ruapehu Vegetation
March 27, 2012

This is a photo of the vegetation near the base of Mt. Ruapehu. Note the dominance of shrubs, and the lack of larger vegetation such as trees. This is attributed to the relatively harsh climate, as well as the geology. Due to the ash from previous eruptions, there is a lack of nutrients as well as poor drainage in the soil, which is not conducive to larger plant growth. It is also very windy, causing a dry environment which further makes it unsuitable to larger vegetation. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip North Island, Mt Ruapehu

location: Karioi, Manawatu Wanganui, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Blue Ducks with Dr. Murray Williams
March 27, 2012

The students had the rare opportunity to learn about the conservation challenges threatening the Blue Duck from Dr. Murray Williams, while seeing a pair in the wild! To learn more about Dr.

tags: Field trip North Island

location: Mangahouhou, Waikato, New Zealand, Waikato, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Moa Bones
March 24, 2012

Above are bones of the now extinct moa found in a cave in Waitomo. Moa were flightless ratite birds, relatives of other species of modern flightless birds, including emus and ostriches. The origin of the Moa bird within New Zealand has two hypotheses. One is of vicariance, where the ancestor of the moa was isolated on New Zealand when it broke off Gondwana 80 million years ago. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Waitomo

location: Waitomo Caves, Waikato, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

In a volcanic crater!
March 24, 2012

The students continued their studies of extreme environments during a visit to the active volcano White Island.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Geothermal Fields, White Island

location: Bay of Plenty, NZ, New Zealand, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Extremophiles
March 22, 2012

The students spent 2 days studying extremophilic micro-organisms with Dr. Matthew Stott.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip North Island

location: Rotomahana, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Extremophile microorganisms
March 22, 2012

Range of Bacteria and archaea found surrounding a geothermal spring in Waimangu. The distribution of color in the image indicates the presence of different extremophiles with the hottest water (approx. 79˚C) upwelling in the center left and cooling rapidly as it radiates. The black color is produced by anaerobic iron metabolism while the red and yellow colors are produced by the aerobic metabolism of iron and sulfur receptively. The green areas indicate the presence of cyanobacteria. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip North Island

location: Rotomahana, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Waimangu Stream
March 22, 2012

Various forms of life have adapted to live in the extreme environment of New Zealand's geothermal aquatic environments. This stream, which averages 45-55°C, flows out of the main crater lake in Waimangu Valley. Small fountains of near boiling water (96-99°C) bubble up along its edge, identifiable by the dark brown patches. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip North Island, Geothermal Fields

location: Rotomahana, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Blue Ducks (Whio)
March 18, 2012

The Whio (common name: Blue Duck; Scientific name: Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) are endemic to New Zealand and is the only species in its genus. There are only about 2,500 whio left in the wild, which puts its population lower than the kiwi and its status as one of the most endangered birds in the world. They are specifically adapted to survive in fast-flowing rivers with high quality water and are perfectly camouflaged to the river environment. (more...)

tags: Mt Bruce

location: Kaiparoro, Manawatu Wanganui, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Wine Tasting in Martinborough
March 18, 2012

The students took a break form the rigors of fieldwork to tour the vineyards around Martinborough and taste some of their world famous Pinot Noir.

tags: Field trip North Island

location: Martinborough, Wellington, New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Takahē Conservation
March 16, 2012

Takahē, the largest living member of the rail family, was once thought to be extinct. Then, in 1948 a few pairs were rediscovered in the alpine tussock grasslands of the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland. This picture was taken in Zealandia, a fenced sanctuary outside of Wellington. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

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fancy

takahe
March 15, 2012

Takahe are important flagship species for conservation in new Zealand. They were long thought extinct until 1948 when a small population was discovered in the fiordlands. Since then they have been conserved through creating sanctuaries and breeding programs. They have even been cross fostered by pukeko in order to bolster their numbers. It is thought they may have evolved from the pukeko and are closely related. (more...)

tags: Field trip Wellington

location: Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Racomitrium Lanuginosum
March 11, 2012

R. Lanuginosum is a moss which survives desiccation (i.e. being dried out, as seen in the beginning of this video) during periods of no moisture. Cells in the moss survive by consolidating organelles to a small area which is then protected by a sucrose wall. During this period, there is no detectable photosynthetic activity. Within seconds of being exposed to water, however, the moss resumes photosynthesis, regaining full activity in minutes. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Nelson Lakes

location: St Arnaud, Tasman, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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New Zealand Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis)
March 4, 2012

The Brown Teal is a member of the Anas genus – a common group of dabbling ducks which includes mallards, wigeons, shovelers, and pintails. Fossil evidence suggests A. chlorotis was present in new Zealand as recently as 12,000 years ago, making it a post-oligocene drowning arrival. Its closest relatives are the Australian chestnut and grey teals. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Port Fitzroy, Auckland, New Zealand

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The Emerald Lakes on the Tongariro Crossing
March 4, 2012

The emerald lakes were formed when water filled explosive craters on Mt. Tongariro. The steam in the picture shows the geothermal activity on the mountain. Learning about life in extreme environments has showed us that there are lots of things that can surprisingly live in these high-heat areas. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments

location: Whakapapa, Manawatu Wanganui, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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The Night Stinger: Latrodectus katipo
March 4, 2012

Katipo are endemic to Aotearoa [New Zealand], New Zealand’s only poisonous native species, are restricted to a highly specialized habitat, and is only found near the seashore living among sand dunes. It was first reported in the 1990s and may have displaced the katipo along the west coast of the North Island from Wellington to Whanganui due to coastal dune modification from agriculture, forestry, and urban development. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology

location: Waitotara, Taranaki, New Zealand

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Agathis australis -- Kauri
March 3, 2012

Agathis australis -- Kauri

This photo was taken in the last primary kauri forest on Great Barrier Island. This island is located 90 km from Auckland and has a population of 850 residents. This Kauri forest is on the slopes of Mt. Hobson, the summit of which is the highest point on Great Barrier. Kauri forests were very common in New Zealand before human came, however, quickly became a favourite for logging. The trees are very large, old and strong. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand

location: Whangaparapara, Auckland, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Kiakora Whalewatch
February 29, 2012

The students spent a day with the Sperm Whales that live right off the coast of Kiakora and learning about ecotourism in New Zealand.

tags: Conservation Biology, Kaikoura

location: South Bay, Canterbury, New Zealand, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Physeter macrocephalus Diving
February 29, 2012

This is a sperm whale about to dive. The sperm whale is capable of diving down to depths of 1000 meters, and staying submerged for 90 minutes. The sperm whale has the largest brain of any animal, and is also the largest toothed animal, growing to lengths up to 18 meters. In the photo, you can see the whale about to slap its tail on the surface of the water before its dive, which will create a “fingerprint” of sorts, that is unique to that whale. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Kaikoura

location: Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Diomedea exulans gibsoni: Gibson’s Albatross
February 29, 2012

Gibson’s Albatross is a wandering albatross that will never touch the land of the north or south islands of New Zealand, yet is seen perched beautifully in the water just off the coast of Kaikoura, due to it’s circumpolar range in the Southern Ocean. The Kaikoura Peninsula is a popular place for both subspecies of wandering albatross to feed. This subspecies breeds on the sub-Antarctic Auckland islands but spends nearly all of its time at sea. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Kaikoura

location: Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Castle Hill
February 25, 2012

The people of Ngai Tahu named the area Kura Tawhiti and there you can find 500-year-old charcoal carvings from the Waitaha people. Kura Tawhitit means "treasure from a distant land" and refers to the kumara that was grown in the area. Here you can find limestone formations making up a karst landscape that have been carved by water and date back to the Oligocene. Limestone is made up of layers of organic sediment deposited in oceans. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Arthurs Pass

location: Castle Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Cass
February 25, 2012

The students spent a few days at the University of Canterbury's Cass Field station studying plants and their history in NZ.

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Arthurs Pass

location: Cass, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Phil Garnock-Jones (Homo sapien sapien) & a Kea (Nestor notabilis) near Arthur
February 25, 2012

Kea (Nestor notabilis) are the world's only alpine parrot. The kea diverged from it's close relative the kaka (Nestor meridionalis) appromxately 5-3 million year ago coinciding with the formation of the Southern Alps and the corresponding niche expansion (Wright 2008). The kea and kaka shared a 'proto-kaka' ancestor which had diverged from the kakapo (Strigops habroptila) approximately 65 million years prior. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Arthurs Pass

location: Arthur's Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Plantago Plant Species in Canterbury
February 24, 2012

This flower was once believed to be Plantago raoulii but is now known to be different from that species. To date, it is still being researched and is without an official name. It is located in Canterbury where it shares the area with two relatives, P. spathulata and P. triandra. Overall, New Zealand is home to ten Plantago species. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Arthurs Pass

location: Cass, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Arthurs Pass
February 24, 2012

We headed from the "wet" coast over Arthurs Pass toward Canterbury and students saw Kia, the worlds only alpine parrot!

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Arthurs Pass

location: Arthur's Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Franz Joseph Glacier
February 22, 2012

Alexandra Garfinkel and Trevor Bloom

The Franz Josef glacier is located immediately west of the main divide of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, a rapidly uplifting 400 km tectonic plate boundary between the Pacific and Australian plates. It is likely that the Franz Joseph Glacier arrose in last 2 million year with the uplift of the southern alps, however, it can only be scientifically traced back 12,000 years with rocks found in the terminal morrain known as the Waiho Loop. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, West Coast

location: Franz Josef, West Coast, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Franz Josef Glacier Valley
February 22, 2012

Alexandra Garfinkel and Trevor Bloom

The Franz Josef glacier is located immediately west of the main divide of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, a rapidly uplifting 400 km tectonic plate boundary between the Pacific and Australian plates. It is likely that the Franz Joseph Glacier arrose in last 2 million year with the uplift of the southern alps, however, it can only be scientifically traced back 12,000 years with rocks found in the terminal morrain known as the Waiho Loop. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, West Coast

location: Franz Josef, West Coast, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Pancake Rocks
February 22, 2012

The Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki are sedimentary limestone rocks which initially formed under the sea around 35 million years ago. The limestone was created from the remains of marine organisms (skeleton and shells) that fell to the bottom of the sea floor. These deposits were eroded and mashed together with enough force to create limestone. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, West Coast

location: Punakaiki, West Coast, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Nikau in Punakaiki
February 21, 2012

Despite the island locale, nikau (Rhopalostylis sapida) is New Zealand's only native palm. This could be due to the varying climates that would make the growth of most tropical palms quite difficult. Before the Oligocene epoch, the fossil record suggests a number of palm species grew here, as temperatures were much warmer. Fossil pollen of Seaforthia, the ancestor of nikau, was found in Eocene coal deposits. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, West Coast

location: Punakaiki, West Coast, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Nelson Lakes
February 18, 2012

Dr. Michele Hawke talks to the students about the geological processes that created the Nelson Lakes as they make their way into the alpine zone in Nelson Lakes National Park.

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Nelson Lakes

location: St Arnaud, Tasman, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Nothofagus Gradient on Mt. Robert
February 17, 2012

As you follow the trail up Mt. Robert in St. Arnaud, you will notice that the dominant Nothofagus (beech tree) canopy type changes with altitude. At the top of the tree line (around 1300m), the dominant canopy is comprised primarily of a monoculture of N. solandri (black/mountain beech). As you descend, you will see increasing N. menziesii (silver beech), eventually forming a monoculture (around 1200m), and at lower altitudes (1100m and below), N. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Nelson Lakes

location: St Arnaud, Tasman, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Cephalorhynchus hectori (South Island Hector’s Dolphins)
February 17, 2012

There are two subspecies of Hector's Dolphins. Those that live off the coast of the South Island are true Hector's Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) and those that live off the west coast of the North Island, known as Maui's Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui). They are the smallest dolphins in the world. They are endemic to New Zealand and are not found anywhere else. There are only 8,000 South Island Hector's Dolphins living in the wild. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Marlborough Sounds

location: Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Marlsborough Sounds
February 16, 2012

The students spent a day exploring Malsborough Sounds learning about the biology of the region (a Hector's dolphin is swimming between the two boats), discussing whaling/salmon farming/mussel farming, and visiting Cpt. Cook's favorite harbor in the South Pacific.

tags: Conservation Biology, Marlborough Sounds

location: Marlborough, New Zealand

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IMG_0452
February 15, 2012

(more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Marlborough Sounds

location: East Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Female Giant Weta
February 6, 2012

At one point during the walk Kent found a female Cook Strait giant weta (Deinacrida rugosa), one of four species of weta found on Matiu/Somes island. While weta are found worldwide, the subfamily Deinacridinae is endemic to New Zealand. According to the fossil record they existed before Zealandia separated from Gondwana. They have done well on Matiu/Somes because of the presence of coastal plants from their natural habitat such as grass, flax, and tauhinu. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Wellington

location: Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Spotted Skink (Oligosoma lineoocellatum)
February 6, 2012

Presently four species of skink exist on Matiu/Somes Island. After the eradication of mammals from the island, these reptiles have had much success. They were a surprisingly common site at the time of our visit, which suggests what pre-human skink populations may have looked like. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Wellington

location: Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Rata
February 3, 2012

A tree within a tree! Depicted above is a rata tree that has grown around another tree. The small roots that were little more than vines in the previous picture have since coalesced into a hollow "pseudo-trunk." The center is a dead and rotting tree (we were unable to identify) and the rata tree is hugging it. The rata tree has killed off its host, and given enough time, the host tree will completely rot away, leaving a rata tree with an apparently hollow trunk. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Wellington

location: Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Rata and Hinau
February 3, 2012

Roots of a Rata tree (Metrosideros robusta) can be seen here growing off a Hinau tree (Elaeocarpus dentatus), which was a common canopy tree we observed in the broadleaf forest of Kaitoke. The Rata began as an epiphyte, doing little to no harm to the host tree, but benefiting from being raised into the canopy, allowing it to gain access to sunlight. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Wellington

location: Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Red Beech
February 2, 2012

This red beech (Nothofagus fusca) stands not in the midst of a beech forest but a podocarp-broadleaf forest on a bank several meters above the Hutt River. Unlike many other species of beeches, the red beech has a low tolerance for cold temperatures and poor soils and therefore grows in more fertile soils, such as those found in river valley floors. This isolated beech is slightly odd given the dogma that beeches don't disperse. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand

location: Pakuratahi Forks, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Kidney Fern
February 2, 2012

Seen here is the kidney fern on the beech forest floor in Kaitoke Regional Park. When observing podocarp-broadleaf forests and beech forests, we noted that the ground covering was made up primarily of filmy ferns such as these, particularly in the beech forest. The fact that they are so widespread is unsurprising given their method of dispersal, tiny spores flung from sori (seen here on the edges of the frond) into the wind to spread and grow where they can. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand

location: Pakuratahi Forks, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Mason Bay Grasses
January 22, 2012

This photo exhibits the invasive, introduced grass Ammophila arenaria, commonly known as European Marram Grass or European Beach Grass. The grass was introduced to the Stewart Island west coast as part of farming efforts in the 1930s and has been rapidly spreading ever since. This hardy grass is approximately one meter in height and has deeper roots than the native grasses it replaced. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Spoon-Leaf Sundew
January 21, 2012

This photo is of the species Drosera spatulata, commonly known as the Spoon-Leaf Sundew. As a carnivorous angiosperm (flowering plant), it feeds on invertebrates, primarily small flies and other insects. Drosera spatulata is found throughout New Zealand, eastern Australia, and South East Asia, and is thought to have evolved in New Zealand and then spread west and north. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

Kaka
January 21, 2012

This is a Kākā (Nestor meridionalis), an endemic bird belonging to the Strigopidae (parrot) family. Ancestors of the parrots found in New Zealand began to diverge when New Zealand broke away from Gondwana 82 million years ago. The emergence of the Southern Alps (5 millions years ago) allowed for the occupation of new niches and subsequent speciation within the Nestor genus, giving rise to the Kākā and Kea. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

New Zealand Robin
January 21, 2012

This is the New Zealand Robin (Petroica australis), or Toutouwai in Māori. This species is thought to have emerged from the Petroica genus from Australia after arriving and diverging in the Pleistocene era. It is an endemic bird that suffered reductions in population size due to introduced predators and habitat loss. Like many of the birds in New Zealand, this bird has been banded as part of an effort to track the life cycle of the bird (birth rate, death rate, dispersal, etc). (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Conservation field trip with Dr Heiko Wittmer
January 20, 2012

The students spent a day exploring a nature reserve right outside Wellington learning about conservation efforts in so called "mainland islands".

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Days Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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IMG_0342
January 19, 2012

This is a picture of a poison dispenser attached to a tree. Its purpose is to poison and kill rats or other rodents who approach it. It is a conservation method implemented by a restoration organization that aims to eliminate rats in the area between Days bay and Eastbourne. These traps were established in the area in 2005 and have been successful in keeping rat populations at bay. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Days Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Brushtail Possum Control
January 19, 2012

Within the Eastbourne mainland island, many trees have sheets of aluminum wrapped around their trunk. These sheets are used to keep climbing pest mammals out of the trees. In the Eastbourne area, Brushtail possums pose the largest threat of all introduced mammals to native fauna and flora species. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

IMG_0339
January 19, 2012

This metal sheet wrapped around a tree is an effort to keep possums from climbing and defoliating the tree. It is an interesting conservation method to minimize impacts that invasive species, such as possums, have on the native vegetation in a way that does not kill the possum. I am skeptical of the effectiveness of these metal sheets because possums can climb up trees without this protection, and then travel from tree to tree in the canopy layer, avoiding the metal protective sheet. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Days Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Eastbourne Rat Control
January 19, 2012

Throughout Eastbourne there are many different kinds of lethal traps set to control introduced mammals. The traps give the pest animals an incentive to enter, such as a tasty meal, where the animal is then killed. Leg hold traps are no longer used in the Eastbourne area, because although they are very effective, they have been deemed unethical since they do not kill the animal immediately. In the Eastbourne area introduced rats have become a large problem. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Wainuiomata, Wellington, New Zealand

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Rata
January 19, 2012

1) Species: Metrosideros robusta 2) The rata is a major tree in the forest ecosystems in New Zealand and usually begins as an epiphite, a plant growing on another but not harming it, however, eventually the rata may grow larger than it's host organism. This particular rata has been growing in this forest since before the Polynesians landed in New Zealand. Additionally, surrounding forest have been both wind and fire damaged, but this area remains undisturbed. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Puriri Moth
January 19, 2012

1) Puriri moth, or Ghost moth. Species: Aenetus virescens Largest Moth in New Zealand 2) Puriri moths are endemic to the north island of New Zealand. Reaching up to 150 mm these moths use trees as their homes by burrowing into them and eating the cambium as the tree tries to heal. Holes created by the moths are covered by a camouflaged silky covering. The holes are nearly undetectable except by touch. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Wellington

location: Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Northern Royal Albatross in flight
January 15, 2012

The Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) seen here off Taiaroa Head in Dunedin, New Zealand. Taiaroa Head is home to the only mainland nesting colony with 150 of these massive birds, all other nesting colonies are located on remote subantarctic islands. The Taiaroa colony was established in 1938 when the first fledgeling was observed. Albatross are not native to this particular area. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

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Otago Harbour Basalt
January 15, 2012

Otago Harbour was once the creator of a large shield volcano. In this photo you can see the remnants of the three stages of formation of the Dunedin Volcanic Complex. The dark grey rock is basalt formed from lava flows and the lighter brown and red rock is ashy material from more explosive events. The first stage consists of flows from Portobello vents, it was during this stage that vents blew out where the harbor is now. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Otago Peninsula
January 14, 2012

Students spent a morning touring Taiaroa head, seeing abundant marine birds and mammals.

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


fancy

IMGP0336
January 13, 2012

This bird, the Northern Royal Albatross (Species Diomedea sanfordi) is seen here in its breeding pair at Taiaroa Head at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula (www.albatross.org.nz). (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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IMGP0293
January 13, 2012

This is the New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), taken from the Monarch Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head (www.wildlife.co.nz). This picture shows a pup reared at the breeding colony. An interesting fact about the fur seal is that they are the deepest diving known seals, taking plunges up to 238 meters, and staying submerged for up to 11 minutes. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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The Toheroa
January 12, 2012

The Toheroa (Paphies ventricosa) are large bivalves that are endemic to New Zealand and are found burrowed up to 20 cm deep on flat, fine sandy beaches exposed to the surf between the low and high tide levels. Due to both commercial and recreational harvesting of the toheroa, their numbers declined drastically from the late 1800s to 1989 when New Zealand banned all fishing of the prized bivalve. Today, only the local Maori have rights to harvest toheroa through the use of permits. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand

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The Carpet Shark
January 12, 2012

The Pekapeka (Cephaloscyllium isabellum) or more commonly called the carpet shark is a small nocturnal benthic shark endemic to New Zealand and resides mostly at depths less than 400 meters. The carpet shark is oviparous (egg laying) and the egg cases are laid in pairs anchored to objects on the sea floor by tendrils. It is not commercially farmed but instead usually caught as bycatch by trawling and rock lobster fisheries. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Exploring the Catlins
January 11, 2012

From Stewart Island we headed to the SE coast of the South Island where we saw Yellow Eyed Penguins (the rarest penguin species), petrified forests, and some of the most pristine coastline in New Zealand.

tags: Field trip Catlins/Otago Peninsula

location: Tautuku, Otago, New Zealand

view in Flickr


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Aluminium Ore: Tiwai Point
January 11, 2012

This ship is carrying a load of Aluminum Ore (imported from Australia) to the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Though this smelter provides NZ$3.65 billion worth of economic benefit to the New Zealand economy, there are hidden complications related to this industry. The facility is the largest electricity consumer in New Zealand, and uses approximately one third of the total power of the South Island and 15% of the total power countrywide. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Bluff, Southland, New Zealand

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Gallirallus australis scotti
January 9, 2012

Family: Rallidae; Genus: Gallirallus; Species: australis Weka, also known as woodhens, are flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. Four subspecies of Weka are found in New Zealand; the photo above is of a Stuart Island Weka (Gallirallus australis scotti). Weka are about the size and weight of a large chicken, however, Stuart Island Weka are the smallest of the four subspecies. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

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Heading back to Oban
January 9, 2012

Following the hike across Stewart Island, students took a water taxi back to town. In the middle is Dr. Michele Hawke (our resident geologist and historian).

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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craspedia
January 9, 2012

1) Craspedia is a genus of daisies. These daisies are native to New Zealand and Australia. Craspedia are related to sunflowers and have distinctive composite flowers. These larger "flowers" are in fact composed of several smaller flowers visible upon closer inspection. 2)These plants are composed of three seperate lineages, 2 of which are only found in Australia and the third which is found in New Zealand and Australia. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

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DSCN3965
January 9, 2012

1. Scientific name: Pseudopanax crassifolius Common name: Lancewood Maori name: Horoeka2. Lancewood is most interesting for being heteroblastic (having distinct phases in it’ life cycle).The Juvenile form, lasting 15-20 years, is easy to recognize. The plant has a slender main-stemwith long leaves deflecting downwards. Leaves are up to a meter in length while on having a15-20mm width. In appearance, they are slender, waxy, fibrous, toothed leaves. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Halfmoon Bay, Southland, New Zealand

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kiwi bird
January 9, 2012

1) The kiwi bird is a terrestrial flightless bird found only in New Zealand. Kiwi bird populations have been severely damaged by the introduction of mammalian predators to New Zealand. Kiwis are nocturnal animals. The females lay a single egg that can be up to 1/3 of her body mass. This mode of reproduction makes kiwis extra vulnerable to population crash. The birds probe with their long bills to collect food, mainly worms. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

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Hike across Stewart Island
January 9, 2012

To search for the elusive kiwi and explore a wide range of New Zealand plant/animal life the students started from Mason Bay after landing on the beach.

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Kiwi Habitat
January 9, 2012

This photo is the second in a series of six documenting my encounter with a wild kiwi. Once up on the dunes overlooking the bay, I began walking slowly through the waist high grasses, keeping my eye out for any movement. This is harder than one might imagine though; the combination of low-angle early morning sunlight and intermittent wind created a disorienting blur of shadows amongst the grasses. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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The Proof
January 9, 2012

This photo is the final (sixth) in a series of six documenting my encounter with tokoeka (a wild kiwi). After sitting still for a long time with the tokoeka, I was able to get one photo of its face before it slipped away for a final time. I didnt realize until after that it came out slightly blurry, but nevertheless I am glad to have at least one picture that proved that my dark blur was in fact Apteryx australis lawryi. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Hide and Seek
January 9, 2012

This photo is the fifth in a series of six documenting my encounter with tokoeka (a wild kiwi). I might be imagining it, but it seemed that the tokoeka was quite playful. It would run a little ways then pause, poking its head up out of the grass momentarily, only to duck back under before I could get a good picture, and then circle back around behind me. I've left out a whole series of photos that show nothing more than a blur in the grass shadows. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Blending into the Shadows
January 9, 2012

This photo is the fourth in a series of six documenting my encounter with a wild kiwi. I followed the rusting creature, able to track its movement by watching the disturbances in the grass. At one point it passed briefly into an opening and I caught a glimpse of the back side of a brown, downy feathered bird. Its large size surprised me but I had little doubt that this was what we were after - a sighting of a wild kiwi. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Movement in the Grass
January 9, 2012

This photo is the third in a series of six documenting my encounter with a wild kiwi. I sat for a short while in the grasses, orienting myself to the sounds and movements around me. Just as I was about to get up and continue onwards, I heard the sound of a large animal rusting nearby. My heart started racing and I quickly tried to snap a photo where I saw the dark form disappearing into the grasses. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Kiwi Tracks
January 9, 2012

This photo is one in a series of six documenting my encounter with a wild kiwi. These tracks were the first evidence of Kiwis that we discovered early in the morning of January 9 on the beach of Te Oneroa (Mason Bay). I followed this track up into the grassy sand dunes. - - - - - Scientific name: Apteryx australis lawryi Māori name: Tokoeka English name: Southern Brown Kiwi The Kiwi is New Zealand's only living Ratite, the national symbol for New Zealand's biological and cultural uniqueness. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Sundew
January 8, 2012

1. Sun Dew (Drosera spathulata) 2. Although all plants require nitrogen for growth, none have the ability to fix nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, and most depend on bacteria to do the job for them. The Sundew, like other carnivorous plants, have evolved the ability to acquire nitrogen and other nutrients from predation on insects and other small arthropods. This ability allows them to survive in low nutrient soils such as bogs and marshes where this specimen was found. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Conservation Biology

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Birding with Dr. Ben Bell
January 8, 2012

Students spent a day surveying the number and diversity of birds on near-mammal free Ulva Island.

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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fancy

Craspedia uniflora
January 8, 2012

Family: Asteraceae; Tribe: Gnaphalieae; Genus: Craspedia; Species: uniflora Craspedia is a genus of daisies with 23 species commonly refered to as woolyheads. The Craspedia are endemic to New Zealand and Australia, and grows in a variety of habitats, including alpine regions, grasslands, and shrublands. In New Zealand they inhabit environments ranging from coastal sand dunes to wetlands to tall tussock grasslands, however they do not generally grow in forests of Nothofagus. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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fancy

Craspedia uniflora
January 8, 2012

Family: Asteraceae; Tribe: Gnaphalieae; Genus: Craspedia; Species: uniflora Craspedia is a genus of daisies with 23 species commonly refered to as woolyheads. The Craspedia are endemic to New Zealand and Australia, and grows in a variety of habitats, including alpine regions, grasslands, and shrublands. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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fancy

Marram Grass
January 8, 2012

1. Marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) 2. Maram grass is a non-native New Zealand coastal grass introduced by humans to help stabilize sand dunes. This single introduction has drastically altered the landscape – from sparsely vegetated low lying dunes to steep highly vegetated dunes. A. arenaria’s ability to tolerate high salt levels and survive burial and storm surges has enabled it to out compete and displace native species. 3. A. arenaria is a relatively recent introduced species. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Stewart Island Weka
January 8, 2012

The Weka (Gallirallus australis) is a species of flightless rail endemic to New Zealand. The species is divided into four subspecies: the Buff Weka (Gallirallus australis hectori), the Western Weka (Gallirallus australis australis), the North Island Weka (Gallirallus australis greyi), and the Stewart Island Weka (Gallirallus australis scotti - shown). The Weka is thought to have diverged from a flying ancestral species that had dispersed to New Zealand from modern day Australia. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Control throught Poison
January 8, 2012

Brodifacoum is an anticoagulant that is typically used to control populations of larger rodents such as rats and possums. The poisoning of invasive mammals has become a common practice in many conservation areas in New Zealand. This photo was taken on Ulva Island and represents one of the steps that have been taken by the New Zealand Department of Conservation in order to control the rat population on the island. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Stewart Island Weka
January 7, 2012

Weka (Gallirallus australis) – Also known as the woodhen. Roughly the size and build of a large chicken. Four subspecies of Weka are found in New Zealand. The photo taken above is of a Stewart Island Weka (Gallirallus australis scotti), the smallest of the subspecies. The Weka is a New Zealand endemic. A member of the rail family, it’s ancestors are thought to have flown to New Zealand less than 10 MYA (Gibbs 2006) where, like many other New Zealand bird species, it evolved flightlessness. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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fancy

Kiwi Feathers
January 7, 2012

1. Scientific name: Apteryx australis Common name: Kiwi Maori name: Tokoeka 2. Feather structure in flightless birds (Ratites), such as kiwi, is significantly different from flighted birds. One difference is the reduction/loss of barbules. Barbules are hook like structure which help feathers adhere, creating a more rigid which aids in flight. Since flight was selected against, barbules were lost. Lacking barbules, kiwis are covered in soft, fluffy down like feathers. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Halfmoon Bay, Southland, New Zealand

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Lancewood, Horoeka [Juvenile]
January 7, 2012

The Pseudopanax crassifolium has distinct morphological changes between its juvenile and adult stages. As a juvenile pictured above, there is a slim main stem reaching with long juvenile leaves deflecting downward with serrated edges. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Lancewood [Adult]
January 7, 2012

Within 15 - 20 years, the Lancewood will mature. Its jagged edged leaves begin to smooth and either become unifoliate, three-foliate or five-foliate. The apex branches while the stem thickens.

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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IMGP0050
January 5, 2012

The Southern Rata (Metrosideros umbellata) is a native tree of New Zealand and has been one of our favorite plants to find, observe, and identify while we are out tramping in the field. Their flowers are a source of nectar for native birds such as the Tui. A conservation issue concerning the Rata is that it is targeted as a favorite food source for introduced possums. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Fiordland, Southland, New Zealand

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IMGP0046
January 5, 2012

The cushion sea star is a broad name for these types of sea stars which are found worldwide. This particular sea star was picked up by our "grabber" tool in Doubtful Sound. Doubtful Sound is a beautiful part of Fiordland, but unfortunately has a different marine ecology than most other areas in Fiordland. The hydroelectric plant on Lake Manatipu deposits much more fresh water into Doubtful Sound than is normal for the fjords. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Fiordland, Southland, New Zealand

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Sediment Sampling in Doubtful Sound
January 4, 2012

This photo displays students digging through sediment samples collected in Doubtful Sound (southwest New Zealand). The Manapouri hydroelectric dam constructed above Doubtful Sound (operation starting in 1972) discharges fresh water into the sound and disrupts the natural stratification of the water, resulting in a larger freshwater layer that allows more light into the water. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Earthquake-induced Erosion
January 4, 2012

This photo displays earthquake-induced erosion in Doubtful Sound (southwest New Zealand). Due to New Zealand’s frequent seismic activity, many evidences of this can be found throughout the Sound, and have occurred throughout New Zealand’s history. Over a period of time, forest systems will establish themselves on the sides of these mountains. However, once an earthquake strikes, the hillside can fall down into the water, quickly destroying what took decades to build. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Tutu Flowers
January 4, 2012

1.This image is of the flowers from the tutu tree, or Coriaria arborea. 2.The tutu tree is important as it, and the other 7 species in its genus, are endemic to New Zealand. This plant is important to New Zealand history and Maori culture because its poisonous berries used to be carefully made into wine and pudding. Before people understood its poisonous effects, many livestock died from consuming it. Its flowers are female and then turn male, and are pollinated via wind dispersion. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Silver Beech and Black Beech Tree Leaves
January 4, 2012

1.The lighter green leaves on the left are from a silver beech tree (Nothofagus menziesii); on the right are black beech tree leaves (N. solandri). 2.Silver beech trees are more commonly found in wet, highland areas, whereas black beech trees are found in lowland areas. Both trees have small leaves, but only silver produces the alternating sized toothed edges. Beech trees make up 80-90% of the native forests in the South Island. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Dr. Lucy Jack
January 4, 2012

Lucy led our survey of marine life in Doubtful Sound.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Fiordland
January 4, 2012

Students on their way to analyze animal diversity with our vessel in the background.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Emergent Rimu in a Nothofagus Forest, Bradshaw Sound; Fiordland, NZ
January 4, 2012

January 4th, 2012: The mountains of Fiordland are dominated by silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) and black beech (Nothofagus solandri). The nothofagus forests are found throughout the South Island and around the Pacifc Rim suggesting the genus arose in Gondwana. In this image an endemic Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) is emerging from the canopy. Rimu, a podocarp, has traditionally been used for it's hardwood by Maori. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Sampling the sea floor in Doubtful Sound
January 3, 2012

Students heading out to sample for benthic organisms in the sedements of Doubtful Sound.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Westerly View off the bow of the Navigator in the Bradshaw Sound; Fiordland, NZ
January 3, 2012

January 4th, 2012: Fiordland, a world heritage site, was sculpted by glaciers during the last glacial Ice Age in New Zealand, approximately 20,000 years ago. The glaciers formed steep U-shaped valleys that have thus been flooded with both salt and fresh water. Parts of the fiords have depths exceeding 440m indicative of the glacial ice penetrating below sea level. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Fiordland/Doubtful Sound

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Anisotome
January 3, 2012

This is a member of a closely related genus to the Aciphylla and is called Anisotome. This particular specie (likely, A. imbricata), although closely related to Aciphylla, really doesn’t look very similar to it. It is much closer to the ground and doesn't have thick tough leaves. If Phil had not found it then we would have completely over looked it! We only found one specimen of this genus while we found many specimens of the Aciphylla genus. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments

location: Otago, New Zealand

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Raoulia grandiflora
January 3, 2012

This is a Raoulia grandiflora flower which is an everlasting daisy species. It is a perfect example of one adaptations that many plant species have adopted for alpine life which is non-specific pollination. Alpine flowers are generally white and can be pollinated by different types of insects. This makes is easier for plants to effectively reproduce.

tags: Life in Extreme Environments

location: Otago, New Zealand

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Flowering Aciphylla
January 3, 2012

This plant is a member of the Apiaceae, or the carrot, family. More specifically it is a member of the Aciphylla genus. It has very tough and unbendable leaves which have sharp points at the ends. The flowering body, which stands taller than the leaves is also sharp and spiny. The leaves are a red-greenish color which could possibly act as a sunscreen for the plant to prevent excess cell damage due to UV light. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments

location: Otago, New Zealand

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Divaricating Discaria toumatou
January 2, 2012

1.Discaria toumatou, also known as Matagouri or the Wild Irishman. 2.The Discaria genus belongs to the Rhamnaceae family, and consists of at least 15 species (Stuessy and Ono 2007). D. toumatou is endemic to New Zealand and thus does not naturally exist anywhere else. Matagouri is a divaricating shrub, a growth form common in New Zealand. Divaricating shrubs are characterized by wide branch angles, tough stems and small leaves. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand

location: Remarkables, Otago, New Zealand

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The rocks of the Remarkables
January 2, 2012

1.Metamorphic schist rock in the Remarkables 2.The Remarkables mountain range extends from Kawaru River to Staircase creek. Its highest peak reaches 2,324 m at Double cone. The rock forming the range is predominantly schist. Alpine zones are a unique environment in New Zealand and are home to incredible biodiversity. 3.This rock was created by the metamorphism of greywacke formed 130-250 million years ago, and was thus once part of old Zelandia. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments

location: Canterbury, New Zealand

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Students in the Remarkables
January 2, 2012

Students in the field. There is an amazing diversity of flowering plants in between the tall grasses.

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments

location: Otago, New Zealand

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Phil in the Remarkables
January 2, 2012

Dr. Phil Garnock-Jones led us on a tour of alpine plant diversity in the Remarkables, right outside of Queenstown.

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments

location: Otago, New Zealand

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Fossicking
January 1, 2012

Students on the program spent an afternoon discovering fossil evidence of New Zealand having a warmer and drier climate 16 mya.

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand

location: Bannockburn, Otago, New Zealand

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