This year saw the second time the undergraduate volunteer group the iROOS (for the first see here)- a student run conservation volunteering initiative from the University of Queensland – came along to help with our annual full spring survey of Edgbaston.
We were very excited for this year as it was very wet out at Edgy over summer – the whole property flooded for weeks. This gives all those snails, fishes and crustaceans a chance to move about the landscape. For us, this is interesting because it can give us insights into how they colonise new springs and in the future will provide us with opportunities to trace their lineages and their origins using population genetics.
Along with us were also visual artist Shannon Murphy and industrial design student Alexander Atkinson – both of whom also sought to support scientific efforts on Edgbaston in their own way. Shannon specialises in building bridges between science and visual arts, endeavouring to enhance communication and understanding of science in broader audiences. She will be writing a special blog post about her experiences soon. Alexander’s masters concerns studying a practice, analysing points at which difficulties occur and designing tools to assist with streamlining the process. Whilst at Edgbaston he participated and observed our activities sampling, eradicating weeds and recording data and will come back to us with his ideas regarding how we could improve this process with designs of his creation.
I’de just like to thank everyone that came on this trip for one of the most amazing trips to Edgbaston I have been on yet.
Usually being alone or in small groups on the property, I often worry about having so many people around. This group made having a large group a joy. And re-learning about all those special little things on Edgbaston through the fresh eyes of those keen to learn and help out keeps my desire to keep working on the conservation of springs on this property and elsewhere strong.