Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Student post: Devin Resko- Wednesday, January 7

Devin Resko is a graduate student at the University of Guam Marine Lab.

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Today was our first full day on Guam. We began this morning listening to Dr. Thomas Marler regarding his work on cycads throughout the Indo-Pacific. It was an excellent talk, seeing that it stirred my interests (someone who struggled to stay awake during their college Botany courses).

After a bit of paperwork for us UOG students, it was time to hit the field! For my group, studying spider web characteristics between the two islands, this translated into searching for good forest sites. For much of the late morning, we drove throughout the northern part of Guam, determining possible study sites. Towards the end of this, the weather began to change. It drizzled and down poured for the next few hours. This made data collection difficult for some of the groups.

However, the rain did ultimately clear out in the early afternoon. For my group, this meant we were ready to head out and measure some spider webs! The main difference between Saipan and Guam regarding spiders: there are many more adults in Guam’s forests! Since we are looking at juveniles, we disregard the large adults. The three of us still had to dip and duck around the countless webs to get to our sites. Watching out for these large webs were the least of our worries. Mosquitos waged war on our faces and ankles as soon as we stepped out of our truck. Bug spray seemed to have little effect on them. Despite the heat, I feel like we’ll be wearing pants and long sleeves from here on out.  
Tonight did end on a good note, though. Most of the class went out to Chamorro Village. I, however, decided that after a day of spiders and a million mosquito bites, nothing sounded better than the comforts of my apartment. The other spider group-mates did attend the festivities and loved it! Jimin said she chowed on some tasty traditional Chamorro grub while enjoying the live music and dancing (even if it was crowded).


Overall, I’d say studies on Guam are going well and will certainly improve with more bug spray!