Monday, September 8, 2008

Trip Purpose

Before I start relaying the journal I kept during the trip, I figure that I should first explain the purpose for the trip and who was involved.

The trip was funded by NSF (National Science Foundation for those non-science folk). This is the first trip for a four year grant. The goal of the grant is to inventory all aquatic fauna (fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, tubularians (free-living flat worms) etc.) in and around the newly designated Alto Purus reserve. Most of the sights to be sampled are at a higher elevation than the rest of the Amazon basin. This region is usually seperated by rapids and is thought to have a marked difference in fauna than the lower basin. This first expedition was located in and around the village of Breu on the Rio Yurua. In the map below, Breu is the red dot near the boarder with Brazil.

I would also like to introduce all of the people involved in this trip, because thier names will come up frequently in future posts. James was the leader of this expedition, he was also the man that was supposed to be my advisor for my Ph.D. In later posts I'll get to why he isn't my advisor any more. James, I, and two peruvian ichthyology students, Roberto and Isabell, were there to collect fishes. There were also four scientists with us to collect flat worms, Carolina and her student Io were from Spain and Christina and Fransico are both professors from Argentina. Laurie a professor from LSU was the sole mollusk scientist. I will also mention Blanca. She is a peruvian ichthyology student. We originally thought she would be going into the field with us, but upon arriving in Peru we learned she was five months pregnant. Even though she didn't go with us, she organized everything. This trip never would have happened without Blanca.

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