Wind, cicadas ambiance
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
24 Jul 2001
- 26.98369 -102.04739
Decoded MS stereo
Show: Cuatro Cienegas
Log of DAT #: 6 (July 24, 2001)
Engineer: Shawn Fox
Date: August 7, 2001
M: Matthias, the grad student ¿ SF: Shawn Fox ¿ D: Dean ¿ JB: John Burnett ¿ JG: Jessica Goldstein ¿ J: Jane, scientist
0:00 - 1:18 blank
1:58 SF: We are on day two¿out with Dean¿going to get fishing sounds. MS Recording.
1:58 - 3:50 G amb - not much, some chatting, voices intermittent in background. Somebody asks what they look for when they're fishing.
3:50 - 4:20 Dean: Typically¿we put a bunch in a cage and we set up to process them. We weigh them, measure them, check for pit tags¿look down their throats, and record all this data, obviously, then take a picture of them and let them go. All this after first anesthetizing them¿
4:20 - 6:44 amb - not so good b/c can always hear voices in the background
good casting of rod - again at 6;13
6:44 - 6:59 D: So, Jane, did you hear that Steve's figured out that this is an all-female population of snails? J: Oh really? D:¿pretty bizarre, huh?
6:59 - 7:30 amb - w/o talking, but difficult to tell what it is. Can hear some water noise but not really that great.
7:33 DH - starting to think more about the gil net now¿they aren't biting too well
8:45 - 9:03 amb - w/o voices, better water and wind
9:30 ambi good movement
10:06 G casting rod
10:15 - 10:33 amb - ok, not great
10:33 J: There's a cyclid in here eating a pug fish¿that's not supposed to happen¿
11:30 D: Not biting very well¿should we go get a net? 11:55
12:10 - 12:40 amb - walking to truck
13:00 - 14:00 amb - a bit of chatting about what they're finding ("37 - that might do. 25 would be better¿" "Is that a 25?")
14:00 - 14:20 amb - more moving around
14:20 - 14:57 amb w/ talking in background
14:57 - 16:35 amb- Dean: there were a bunch where the water¿if we just encircle that - setting up
15:11 good plunk into the water.
15:29 - 15:44 so if we just encircle it¿and then if we go over it¿and chase them out into the pool water.
15:52 - 16:04 some good plunking, splashing, water noise.
16:20 - 35 swimming.
17:00 SF: Ok, this is Dean and one of the graduate students. They were - that was all set up finding a net b/c the fishing experiment didn't work¿And they're in the midst of putting out a net to catch fish. For some reason.
17:39 SF: Now I've gone to the other side of the lake where they have gone - where the small canal comes in.
18:00 - 18:20 amb - not so great
18:20 amb - some splashing, breathing - sounds like someone swimming, probably putting out the net. Until 19:00
19:00 - 19:12 amb - good water running sounds w/ some swimming
19:13 D: We could very quickly have more fish here than we care to deal with here - we'd better watch it.
19:32 M: Discussion of fishing
19:50 - 20:10 amb - good. Dean talking about having a lot of fish and getting the net out of the water, with good water running sounds and cicadas.
19:53 D - we already got a lot in there. Whoah! Get this net out of the water! 20:16
20:10 - 22: 05 chatter about the fish
21:03 - D: Keep them moist (21:20) - they dry out real quick¿ 21:20 - pull up the net¿
22:05 - 22:55 D: Should we ask Jessica to help?¿ 22:30 - if we'd used the bigger mesh, we would have caught more more likely to be pit-tagged. These are awfully little.
22:55 - 23:20 amb - 23:14 - splashing
23:20 - 23:42 amb but muffled chatter
23:42 - 26:30 amb chatter - D: I'm trying to get these little guys out of the gill net¿ 24:04 - they can get caught real fast and stuck real good¿24:25 - D: ok, guy¿ 25:40 - D: it's nice to have an up-close experience with them here. 25:55 - I think it would have taken us quite a while fishing..26:03 D - We don't tag them down this small - so these guys probably won't be tagged. It's about as small as we go - 50 mm standard length is about as small as we tag.
27:00 - 27:32 amb - decent, no talking, some wind, water, splashing
28:01 J - cyclid a go-go! (ambi preceeds this is good)
28:14 - 29:00 amb chatter - D: oh, there's a bunch in here¿ hold it here¿
JB - 28:43 like a quilting circle 28:52 ¿
Dean - really effective nets, these things
29:00 - 30:24 VG amb - more fishing, breathing, swimming,
30:33 JB - (w/snorkel on) oh! It just jumped out!
31:04 - 31:25 JB: So, you just look at them here in your hands? D: We'll take them back and run the pit-tag scanner over them and see ¿ JB: Where's that?¿ (chatter for a sec)
31:26 G swimming ambi
32:00 - 33:15 Sean serenading & talking to Jessica as she logs the tapes and he walks to the other side of the lake.
33:33 D: We're optimistic that we'll have tagged fish among all those little ones¿
34:03 amb beep! D: yep, we got one. We've got number 4064462E5F in there, at least 34:16 beep!¿so we'll figure out which one he is pretty soon here. .. We have some now which have been recaptured 4 or 5 times in the last 18 mos or so, so we've got really good data on their growth and changes in their body shape¿so the pit-tagging project has worked out really well. 34:47 In the fishing that we do here now, we find that 60 to 70 percent of the population has been previously marked so we're to the point where we can get all sorts of information on growth and mortality of the population and good stuff like that so we can understand in great detail how the population is functioning. 35:06
35:05 JB: Why do you call it pit-tagging?
35:05 D: Passive Integrated Transponder - I'll show you one in a little while. It's a little¿4 mm - and 1 - 1.5 mm wide glass case with a little antenna wrapped up inside it. They have no power supply - this supplies the power causing it to transmit its signal. There are no two pit tags alike - they all have a unique number. So, every individual is uniquely marked¿.could use external tags but an external tag starts growing algae right away¿it starts precipitating calcium carbonate¿and the fish pretty soon has a rock fastened to its back¿so that doesn't work very well at all¿ These are injected into the body cavity with a hypodermic needle and they recover very quickly¿no mortality whatsoever¿normal growth rates¿
36:13 JB: So they live to adulthood w/ the tag in them? D: They're basically permanent tags - they'll live much longer than the fish. We presume these fish probably live five or six or maybe ten years on the outside, so conceivably we could continue this program for a very long time. We tag them probably in their first year of life at about 50 mm standard length.
36:38 - 37:38 JB: Is this kind of tag used on other mammals as well? D: They're being widely used now¿they're very popular in the animal industry - cattle or pet trade. H: Is this the smallest living thing that these tags are used on? D: I don't really know¿ As far as fishes go, I wouldn't try to tag anything smaller than this¿ Worked our way down to 50 mm¿but we seem to be getting better and better with our pit tagging¿and in the lab we're able to tag 50 mm fish with no effects - they're behaving perfectly normally within the day¿We use clove oil to anesthetize them¿
38:39 - 39:20 D: Like I said, typically we would have our whole group here, using about 5 or 6 people to process these things. We handle them pretty quickly - you get them out of the water into the desert air - the water temp goes up pretty quickly - you get them out, the breeze will cool them down. We find we have big trouble in the winter - the little fish will chill down very very quickly when you get them out of the water, and in the summer they heat up very quickly and dry off very quickly. So we have to handle them quickly, keeping them in the water as much as possible¿ There's the catfish that was tagged¿
39:34 amb - splash!
39:35 - 43:00 not much here - SC & J chatting
43:05 - 47:50 talking - D: you want to measure them?¿43:50 - let's just go ahead and do just the catfish¿the rest of them I suspect won't be marked b/c they're so small¿ 44:45 - amb beep. 45:07 D & M: 064462E5F¿ok¿ one twenty¿one twenty nine¿let's just beep the whole bag and see if we can find anymore in here.. (amb beep) Hey it's one of the 426 series - wow, weird. (Amb - beep) 4265266261. That's all? Yeah.. 99 point one¿they're all too small, yeah. (amb beep again) - chuckle, now we'll have to go through them all. 40623A0F15¿ Nope¿let's just count them and let them go, then. It's like Christmas - big bag.
47:51 D: We've got a proposal into Nat'l Geographic to install remote pit tag monitors¿solar power devices that will force the fish to swim through a six-inch pipe and record the time and date and pit tag number. That would be at poza Azul¿ It's hard for us to put in enough effort in a wide range of places to really detect movement really well but with this we'd catch¿movement¿
48:27 JB: Would it record the data there? D: Yeah, it would record the data there and then we'd go out and get the data every once in a while and record it.
49:02 - 49:50 D: So, let's count them and let's let 'em all go. That wasn't too bad - a little bit of data for not too much effort. ¿ J: ¿You didn't look to see what kind they were, did you? ¿ D: No¿we'll have that recorded and on these little ones, they don't differentiate until some point past 50mm. It looks highly variable¿ H: so the only thing you can tell is the length now? D: Right¿.
50:28 D: How many did you have? M: 21¿ (more amb chatter) 50:45 - D: Alright, good!
50:50 JB: Some of the original work that was done out here by Dr. ? was funded by NASA in the ¿ Hostile Env. Program¿Why would NASA have chosen the Chihuahuan Desert for that kind of research?
51:17 J&D: It has to do with the strematelites¿earliest sign of life in the fossil records and so there a lot of interest in strematelites and the possibility that something strametelite-like may be found on Mars¿and the extreme environments¿springs coming up from very deep¿that's it, basically. I think actually, it was a stretch, truthfully¿
JG wants to record John walking and getting into & out of the water
53:20 - 54:07 amb - good - John getting into & out of water
54:38 SC: ¿We're going for cicadas and wind¿
54:55 - 58:00 amb 55:05 - 55:10 - good; 55:25 - 55:40 - good; 55:50 - 56:20 - good; 56:56 - 57:25 good cicadas (they're always a bit faint, though);
58:10 SC: ¿day 2¿Hinkley's (Brinkley's?) Cave¿students. And then we're going to go home¿ MS recording¿very windy¿
1:01:10 kids (in response to JB question of 'somebody tell us who you are'): we're from all over¿random high school kids applying for Earthwatch..a whole bunch of different people put into one spot¿1:01:44 kid: Some of us are from cities and some from like the sticks (laughter, suburbia).
1:01:54 JB: Did you read anything about CC before you came here?
1:01:57 girl: What they gave us. Boy: National Geographic article. Girl: ¿ I never heard of it¿
1:02:12 boy: I read this girl's thesis¿on how when they turned this into a preserve they starting having trouble with the locals¿
1:02:30s JB asking them for first impressions
1:02:43 Kids answer "it's like you're in the middle of the lake and there's desert and then there's mountains¿" "bright turquoise" "You get out of the water and it's just desert..." "If you were to turn around you'd never believe there's water behind you¿" "Like¿all of a sudden I almost fell into the pond¿" "It's like swimming in the middle of the desert¿" "Mystical pools."
1:03:30 "Sleeping at night is kind of nasty, though" "sweaty"
1:03:58 JB: Did you see many of the things living in the sink holes?
1:04:03 Kids: "Oh yeah - lots of fish" "We collected them¿" "¿contest - who can get the most different kinds of species." "biodiversity day today¿"
JB: What kind of species did you collect today?
1:04:16 Kids laugh and say, "Adam" - a kid who seems to be able to pronounce the types of fish.
1:04:30 Kids: It would be like 25-ft deep and you'd see them coming out of the bottom¿like a den of fish. Jeff and I would put this big net over the fish¿ I think it was Ted trying to chase them¿ I was doing that at first b/c I had the fins, I was like 'I bet I could catch one!' 1:05:17 They all connect¿ All the pools are connected¿the depth would change, the size of the fish would change, the color of the water, the temperature of the water¿ If you're not careful you could swim around one giant chain of pools¿(end 1:05:36) When you step in the pools, it doesn't seem that deep but there's a lot of snail excrement and your foot just sinks down¿
1:06:09 JB: So what is it that you think people should know about these sink holes?¿
1:06:13 Kids: They're drying up. How special they are and how /1:06:16 (Ted) the wildlife in them is only here and it's such a special thing and it could be taken away so easily or the smallest thing could destroy it all and then you wouldn't have it. 1:06:28/ It's life in the middle of a wasteland environment. I think people would appreciate it if they could see it b/c trying to imagine it is next to impossible. (these comments are good but the recording is a bit faint). It's like an oasis only better¿Even the desert is really neat - it's more¿vegetated¿
1:07:11 JB: Are you most juniors and seniors¿16, 17, 18¿ JG?: so if you guys could write a letter home, what is the main thing you'd tell them?¿
1:07:49 Kids: We're coming back! Come on out! Come visit! You can't describe this¿you just have to be here¿pictures don't do it justice¿Even looking at the website¿it's indescribable¿ I already promised myself I'd take my family down here one day¿ The scorpions are cool (laughter)¿
1:09:15 JB: What do you hope to accomplish at the end of the week?
1:09:20 Kids: I'd like to think we have some sort of impact on the studies¿I would like to think¿we're actually helping¿I definitely think we get way more out of this than we could ever give back¿ More an experience to get kids excited and started in science¿They'll tell their friends it's cool to save things¿ Now I want to take everybody I know down here. (until 1:10:18)
1:10:18 Kids: Thought it would be a lot scarier¿ they laugh JB: We did, too!
Kids talk, but it's not that exciting
1:11:50 JG asks kids to identify themselves
1:12:04 My name is Ted Hofstetter and I'm from Toledo, Ohio. I'm Carol Markinson (?) and I'm from Davenport, Iowa. I'm Adam Oswald and I'm from Thompson Falls, Montana. I'm Elyssa Olympie (sp?) and I'm from Swicklie (sp?), Pennsylvania. Luke McKeckrin (sp?) and I'm from Tampa, Florida. I'm Jeff Nelson - I'm from San Jose, California. I'm Leanne Johns from White Cross, Georgia. I'm Savannah Williams from Nashville, Tennessee. ¿ I'm Charlene (?). I'm the webmaster at the ¿ museum.
1:13:03 - 14:10 amb in cave (best after 1:13:20 when somebody shuffles) - though can hear intermittent shuffling throughout.1:13:49 - 1:13:53 is good - get bird chirping.
1:14:10 - 15:25 kids talking about the fish - not so interesting¿ (talking about this contest they had to see who could catch the most species of fish)
1:15:58 Kid:¿ If we would have focused on invertebrates more¿would have been in the hundreds for sure¿
1:16:30 JB: Thank you guys very much¿