Porcupine field meetings – why would I want to go on one?
One of the characteristics of Porcupine is that many of its members are experienced field ecologists – typically marine biologists with ID expertise in one or more taxonomic groups who also have a large store of tips on methods and field lore. Thus, they can show you useful bits of equipment, often adapted to do the job better, where to look for interesting species, techniques for getting good photos, protocols for improving consistency of recording, how to collect and preserve specimens of particular types, the pros and cons of particular identification guides, etc.
Porcupine field meetings are an opportunity to join these ecologists as they do what they do best, and our aim is to structure the meetings to make them a learning experience for everyone. Known experts are encouraged to offer their skills and carry out informal master classes. Everyone is encouraged to show and discuss tips that they have picked up.
A list of people attending, including a summary of their expertise and their ambitions for the day, will be prepared and disseminated a few days in advance. The meeting will start at an agreed time and location, approx. 2 hours before low tide, where introductions will be made, a brief summary of the area will be explained and a rough plan of who is going where will be described. Depending on the weather, people tend to drift away from the shore after 2 to 3 hours and make their way to the arranged field lab, where the meeting will continue and more master-classes and tips will be exchanged. A compilation of species recorded from the site will be coordinated and a write-up of the meeting will be prepared for the Bulletin. The species list will go to Julia Nunn (Porcupine’s Records Convenor) for entry into Marine Recorder and export to the NBN Atlas.
The next Field Meeting is:
PMNHS Autumn Field Meeting 2021
The Gower Peninsula, Wales
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September
We are delighted to be able to meet up again following the easing of Covid restrictions. We will be hosting the next field meeting at the beautiful Gower Peninsula in south Wales in September.
On Saturday 11th we will be doing a ramble along Mumbles Head, Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay. This is a series of sheltered rocky shores with varied intertidal habitat (rockpools, overhangs, gullies and boulders) with a wide range of biodiversity. Low water is at 15:57 (0.9m) so we will be meeting at 2pm to work down the shore with the tide. We will meet at Limeslade Bay car park (SA3 4JT) which is indicated in the map below with the red pointer.
On Sunday 12th we will survey at Oxwich Bay which has rocky and sediment shores. The beach is wide and sandy with a rocky shore on the cliff side with deep gullies and large rockpools. Low water is at 16:44 (1.4m) and we will be meeting at 2pm at Oxwich Bay car park (SA3 1ND) which is indicated in the map below with the red pointer.
All welcome! Booking is essential. Please email email@example.com with your name, contact number, which days you plan to attend and your marine biological interests as well as your skills and preferred survey methodology (if any) which will help us to facilitate recording and a skills share.
Please bring with you surveying equipment and weather appropriate clothing depending on the weather. Both sites are very safe and accessible with nearby facilities. We will highlight any site specific risks to you prior to the event if you chose to book on.
We hope to meet on Saturday evening for a casual meal (mainly consisting of pizza and ice cream) further details will be given closer to the time. Sunday morning could be an opportunity for shore diving/ snorkelling but we will not be organising this as part of the event. Conditions and visibility are variable around the Gower so we encourage you to research this prior to undertaking these activities.
We hope to see you in September where we look forward to connecting in our natural habitat again!
If you have any questions about the field meeting, please direct them to Winter Dotto at the porcupine email: firstname.lastname@example.org