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 Field Week 20-26th March
Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, it is unfortunately not possible to arrange a large group field trip in association with the conference.
However, recognising that being in the field is an important part of the PMNHS and each year having a field day associated with the conference allows a fantastic opportunity to share findings, ID queries, and interesting observations, we are keen to still do this all be it in a slightly different capacity.
So this year we will be encouraging all conference participants to get out to their local coastline, river, estuary or whatever is practicable for you, to participate in a nationwide field day, during the week prior to the conference 20-26th March.
We will then be accepting photos, observations, discussion points, ID queries via email in the run-up to the conference to form the basis of the Workshop discussions, where you will be able to share and discuss field notes with fellow Porcupines.
There is no need to register for the field week, but please keep an eye on your email inbox, the PMNHS website, and our social media for tips on how to make the most of your field trip and ideas on what kind of observations, and records we would like to see.