Thursday, May 19, 2011

Amgen Tour of California Bike Race Through Hastings
This is the first international bike race through Hastings. The Carmel Valley Road was closed this morning. The race usually goes down Highway 1 through Big Sur but this year, that road was closed due to a huge landslide south of Big Creek. We all cheered them on.

Hastings Residents, May 2011. From Left; Riley, Julie, Eric and Torrey Walters (UC Berkeley and Cornell Post-doctoral Fellow); Sheena Fry and Emily MacLeod (U. Toronto graduate students); Mark Stromberg, Anna Brownson (Grad Student, SFSU), Bridget Antze (Field Assistant), Walt Koenig (Faculty, Cornell), Tali Hammond (Field Assistant), Jessie Barker, Caitlin Stern (Graduate Students, Cornell); Rose Swift, David Moldoff (Field Assistants).

Hastings Research in Smithsonian Magazine
Although they never mention the field station, a writer for the Smithsonian magazine produced a nice article in the current issue on research done at Hastings. Matina Kalcounis-Ruppell worked her for several years, and found that the deer mice sing at night. The songs are in the ultrasound- at frequencies higher than we can hear. Anyway; there is a link to the article. If only NSF or someone would fund Matina she would return and explore other questions. But in the meantime, Matina is working with the mice in the eastern deciduous forest (noisy compared to here) who also sing, but not nearly as robustly!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Videos Explore Hastings
Award-winning videographers Conall Jones and Alf Seccomb have produced a series of nine videos on Hastings. Kevin Brown at UC NRS helped me build a pass-through portal to our website that includes the videos an 11 minutes overview of Hastings, a few on graduate student research, some on pos-doctoral research and faculty research, as well as a video on how undergraduate students react to Hastings. I hope you can take a few minutes (most are under 4 minutes) and view them. At: www.hastings. And, you can see them on YouTube at the Hastings Channel. Thanks to all who made the videos possible.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Spring! Researchers!
The relentless rain has eased into sunshine and a bevy of researchers have arrived. Things are buzzing; Walt Koenig (Cornell) is back with his group of field assistants studying acorn woodpeckers. Janis Dickinson (Cornell) and Caitlin Stern (grad student) and several field assistants are here again as well, watching the western bluebirds. And we have some interesting visitors from local schools. One is Galen Pelzman, UCSC. Galen is studying "how genetic divergence of floral traits among coevolving prodoxid moths and their host plants affects plant fitness through its effect on pollination efficacy". Galen's day visits bring him to the small white flower along Big Creek, Lithophragma spp. and their associated moths, Greya spp. (Oecologia. 2010 Jan;162(1):71-80. Epub 2009 Aug 11.). Others are studying oak flowers and pollen (Brian Berringer, Cornell), or black widow spiders (Emily MacLeod, U. Toronto). Busy times again!
Here, Galen is gathering flower petals from the Lithophragma for a colleague in John Thomson's lab at UCSC. He is comparing the scents of the two kinds of Lithophragma flowers found at Hastings. Maybe moths choose which flower species to visit based on aroma?