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:
Dale Bay, Pembrokeshire 19th & 20th September 2020