Inventor and pioneer Thomas Edison is credited with creating the light bulb. He did so after countless failed attempts. When asked if he felt discouraged, he replied, "I've not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways it won't work." While I hope not to have to go through quite so many non-working solutions, I believe I'm on the road to figuring out an efficient means of sampling for river critters who live below the bed of the Black River.
After a "no-show" in our colonization tubes this past summer (with huge thanks to Reading Elementary teacher Patty Collins, my own homeschooled daughter Moira, and graduate student Adam Timko), I did more digging and research on methods that other scientists have used to explore this dark netherworld of the watershed.
Australian researcher Dr. Andrew Boulton responded today with what seems like a simple and effective idea that we will attempt in the summer of 2016 -- with a little luck, we'll come up with a few jars of creatures!
Once a successful collection method is determined, Patty will replicate the procedure with her students up in the headwaters of the North Branch of the Black River, and we'll compare our findings.
Stay tuned for more wet 'n' wild fun, looking for river bugs!