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Taylor Wilderness Research Station

HC 83 Box 8070
Cascade, ID 83611
Big Creek at Taylor Wilderness Research Station

2010 Winter Update

In the thick of winter, when the world is still and the banks of Big Creek are packed with ice, we ordinarily anticipate research at Taylor to slow significantly. But contrary to our expectations, our 2010-2011 winter was surprisingly busy!

Idaho State University master’s student and DeVlieg Graduate Scholar Ryan Blackadar visited Taylor in early January, mid-February, and late March, continuing his project “The Price of Ice: Ecological Consequences of Changing Ice Regimes for Linked Aquatic-Terrestrial Food Webs." Several other students or professors from ISU accompanied Ryan on his visits, including:

  • Colden Baxter, associate professor of ecology
  • 2010 DeVlieg Research Scholar Matt Schenk, whose project is entitled, “Investigating Relationships between Flow, Bed Mobility, and Stream Organisms: Steps Toward Predicting Climate Change Effects in Tributaries of Big Creek, A Wilderness Watershed of Central Idaho;”
  • Graduate student Scott Collins
  • Undergraduate Devin Baumer.

Idaho Fish and Game has been one of our frequent visitors as well. Regional wildlife biologist Michael Scott flew to Taylor in late January, accompanied by Payette Conservation Officer Jon Hunter and Weiser Conservation Officer Mark Sands, to complete the 2011 elk survey. The team based the helicopter surveys out of Taylor for one week. The following month, Idaho Fish and Game biological technicians Nina Selvage and Kevin Poole returned as operators of the rotary screw trap in Big Creek, which officially launched its fifth season at Taylor on March 10.

We were also visited by four undergraduate students from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. in mid-January, as they concluded their senior research projects. Elise Otto, a 2010 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program student at Taylor, was accompanied by Peter Gurche, Naomi Gibbs and Ben Hayes. The students greatly enjoyed their winter sojourn into the wilderness, although a snowstorm late in the week delayed their departure, and they missed their first day of class!

Amie-June traveled to the University of Idaho in mid-February to present a seminar on the 2011 internship program. Intern applications were due at the end of the month, and we are pleased to introduce our interns for the 2011 season:

  • Brian Howard - ecology and conservation biology
  • Shaylee Martling - wildlife resources
  • Crista O’Conner - ecology and conservation biology
  • Mikaela Campbell - restoration ecology intern, ecology and conservation biology.

We have a very exciting program planned this season (, which begins May 30.

Even though spring is now officially upon us, the seasonal transition is slow. Big Creek is ice-free, and snow is primarily limited to our surrounding peaks. The first of the spring songbirds are beginning to pass through, and golden sagebrush buttercups and fritillaries peek out though the slowly greening grass as we wait impatiently for the trees to leaf out.

It’s gearing up to be another great season at Taylor! We hope you’re enjoying spring, wherever you may be.

Amie-June Brumble and Tyler Morrison
Taylor Wilderness Research Station Managers
April 27, 2011