The morning began with a quick dash for coffee at the local Starbucks. After some light conversation about our personal teaching positions we headed out at approximately 8:30 am. We met with Kaitlyn and Chris from the SCA at the National Park, for the second day, to continue our monitoring of the pristine streams found in Prince William County.
(Or, “another day, another macroinvertebrate”)
We loaded up and headed off deep into the wilds of… Alexandria.
Traffic wasn’t too bad! We made decent time getting to the Cameron Run, a 4th order stream in an industrial area with a LOT of human impacts. Think runoff and flooding, channelization, sewage and pollutants (ick.) But many of our fishies and bugs are resilient: even in these rather cruddy conditions, some organisms thrive.
Welllll.... mostly business.
What is it? The Great Backyard Bird Count engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds over a 4-day period. This annual bird population survey creates a real-time snapshot of bird populations throughout the US and Canada and helps researchers better understand birds and their behavior.
Who can do it? You can! Anyone may participate. You may count birds for as little as 15 minutes or for as long as you like each day of the event.
Congratulations VCU!!! The VCU Rams are in the Final Four!!! Virginians are cheering for the "Cinderella" #11 seed Rams whom many said did not belong in the tournament.
Only two other teams with double-digit seeds have ever reached the Final Four. Who were they?
And don't miss March Ratness on Thursday, March 31 (11 am) at the Science Museum of Virginia!!! Four rats will play their own tournament - who do you think will win???
This Wednesday, cute and cuddly Punxsutawney Phil (officially known as "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary") will emerge (well, actually, he will be pulled) from his burrow to predict how much longer winter will last. If he sees his shadow, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, spring is on the way.
Groundhog Day was first celebrated in Pennsylvania on February 2, 1886, making this the 125th anniversary.
What do you think of cold weather? Polar bears love it! Their thick fur coat covers a layer of insulating fat, allowing them to be quite comfortable in the frigid Arctic.
Why do you think polar bears walk at such a leisurely pace?
Besides highly publicized science stories of 2010 (Gulf oil spill, Chilean miner rescue, bedbugs, etc.), there were some intriguing and somewhat odd science stories:
1. You think like a worm – The human brain’s center of deep thought is curiously similar to a clump of neurons inside the head of the lowly ragworm. So similar, in fact, that ragworms, which evolved 600 million years ago, probably share a common ancestor with us humans. Hmmm…
Want to wow your guests at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your incredible knowledge of turkey trivia? Check out these "Turkey Day" facts!