Term needed: Summer 2018
Faculty mentor name: David Wooster
BES Facility: HAREC
Location (town) of internship: Hermiston
Hourly Salary: $13.00 Expected hours/week: 40
Student may be asked to work on weekends or outside of 8-5. Some days will be spent in the field collecting samples. These days might require staying out past 5pm. The student will not work more than 40 hours in a week.
Are Housing Benefits included in addition to hourly salary? no
Student will have interaction with minors or access to hazardous chemicals. Student will need to complete a criminal background check.
Invasive species can greatly impact the abundance and distribution of native species as well as the functioning of ecosystems. In many freshwater ecosystems, crayfish are key drivers of ecosystem functioning – influencing energy and nutrient pathways, changing the physical structure of substrate, and impacting the structure of biotic assemblages. Because of these multiple types of effects, invasive crayfish are considered one of the primary threats to biodiversity and functioning of freshwater ecosystems. This project examines the distribution and abundance of two invasive crayfish recently discovered in the interior Columbia Basin, rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and red-swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).
The rusty crayfish is native to the Ohio River drainage and was detected in a small number of locations in the John Day River in 2012. Since that time the distribution of this crayfish in the river has expanded. To better understand the invasion process we are examining qualities (sex, age, morphology, and behavior) of the individuals found at the invasion front. Red swamp crayfish are a wetland species native to the southeastern US. A population was disovered near Hermiston in 2016 in wetlands of a wildlife management area. We plan to search adjacent wetlands in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington to determine the extent of this species in the area. In addition, we will be collecting information on abundance and impacts of this species on wetland vegetation and invertebrate assemblages.
For this project, the intern will spend approximately 50% of their time in the field. This time in the field includes driving 2-3 hours to sampling locations, carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment, and wading in rivers and wetlands. The remainder of the intern’s time will be spent in the laboratory where the intern will assist in measuring crayfish morphology, running experiments on crayfish behavior, and data entry using Excel.