With the help of Andrew and Kelly, I finished setting up all of my pitfall traps for my ant survey today--a grand total of 12 5x30m plots and 144 pitfall traps! I started on Monday with Katherine, setting up Nessman, the smallest of my sites. We quickly learned that digging holes with the soil core sampler is much more efficient when we have some sort of sharp object to dislodge soil from the sampler & that having a dibbler to pre-form holes speeds up the process.
On Tuesday Katherine, Lydia, Kelly, and I set up the plots on East Elk Lake Road, Northwest Landfill, and North Northwest Landfill. Today Andrew, Kelly, and I braved the ticks out in Staffanson prairie preserve, knocking out the final 4 plots, 2 on the east unburned side and 2 on the west burned side.
To give the disturbed areas some time to settle, I'm leaving my traps capped until next week, after which I'll collect specimens weekly and get cracking on ID-ing. For more details about why I'm doing what I'm doing, see my proposal.
Also, a brief protocol for setting up and collecting from my pitfall traps is below:
Pitfall Trap Procedure.pdf