My last month has been full of travel-from one end of the US to the other. Some of this was for pleasure, but my trip to Utah with Carolyn was all business, as in the business of learning about and collecting odonates.
The first two days of my journey were participation in a Bio Blitz at Zion National Park. In the park, I was working with a couple other researchers on an Odonata larvae mercury project, which has been going on at US National Parks for a number of years. This basically involved collecting larvae from a number of sites within the park and then sending them to the University of Maine to be tested for Mercury levels. You can learn more about this project here. It was fun to explore Zion as well as participate in odonate larvae research, while also keeping an eye out for some of the odonates flying, such as the Canyon Rubyspot, Hetaerina vulnerata Hagen in Selys, 1853 .
After a couple of days of time in Hurricane, UT, we headed north to Provo for the Dragonfly Society of the Americas 2016 main meeting. I presented on my research in the Beatty Collection at Penn State, which you can find here. There were also some collecting trips in the Provo area that I attended with the meeting. It was awesome to meet so many inspiring researchers in the field! I am very thankful to have received the Donnelly Fellowship to go to this meeting and explore Utah.
I got the chance to go to a diverse range of sites for collecting, such as the above photo, which was taken at the Jordanelle Wetlands. There were some cool Aeshnids at this site, Coenagrionids, and this moose, who was just minding his business and snacking on berries.
We also collected higher in the mountains, such as at the lakes of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. There I saw many emerald dragonflies, which were particularly striking in the sun.
At the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, there were swarms of dragonflies, particularly Aeshnids. I probably saw more dragonflies there than at any other site I collected at in UT. I’m glad Carolyn was so patient with me while I geeked out at the volume of odes. What a way to end a great trip to the Southwest!