Spring Scholar Program in Fanjinghsan National Nature Reserve

The program is an interdisciplinary project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and led by researcher Dr. Li An. Titled, “Impacts of Ecosystem Service Payments in Coupled Natural and Human Systems,” the project consisted of 9 days of field work in the Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR). FNNR is considered a high priority for conservation although it is an area that experiences a high amount of human activity. The reserve is also a UNESCO heritage site, and is the last remaining habitat of the Guizhou Golden Monkey. The reserve is a biodiversity hotspot that is not only homeRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Preparing to Leave

DATES OF TRAINING 03/24/2016-03/25/2016 Dr. An had arranged for us to receive video training at the I.T.S. department at school where Joseph Alvarez and Ari explained to us what our purpose was in documenting this trip. The training consisted of a basic overview of camera and tripod operations, which ranged from the various settings such as the camera specs and capabilities, how to record, zoom and recording footage under the proper video settings and lighting. From there we covered the “do’s and don’ts” of recording, which included when to use handheld vs tripod, shot duration, and proper camera etiquette andRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Travel

DATES OF TRAVEL: 03/25/2016-03/28/2016 Traveling to Jiangkou where we began our stay to partake in the PES study took us 3 days. We began our travels on March 25, 2016 taking a plane from SD to LAX. We then flew from LAX to Shanghai and our last flight from Shanghai took us too Changsha. The flight from LAX to Shanghai was just over 13 hours where they served us dinner and breakfast. Each seat had it’s own personal touch screen TV where you could select from a variety of new movies, tv shows, music or games. Once we landed inRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 1 Field Work

DATE: 03/28/2016 We traveled into reserve following the path of the river to install two remote sensing cameras and record plot data and vegetation samples. On route to first camera site we found wild turkey that had been killed by predator, which was possibly wild cat according to Dr. Chen. Shaoudon had buried it at request of the reserve director in order to prevent any potential spread of a possible infectious disease. After a 2 hour hike in rugged terrain and crossing the river several times over, we arrived at first site and recorded researchers documenting data on the plotRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 2 Field Work

DATE: 03/29/2016 On our second day of field work we recorded plot data in the experimental zone, which is located much closer to villages and road. The location is known as the experimental zone because it is the area that the Chinese government is actively promoting the payments for ecosystem services program. At the first plot Dr. Chen taught me how to record the data, mark the plot, record the slope, aspect, average tree height, and canopy coverage with fisheye lens while Inka documented on video camera. We recorded the data for the first plot and then took a shortRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 3 Field Work

DATE 03/30/2016 After breakfast we had a morning break and we played a game that was a combination of soccer/dodgeball/basketball followed by rocks paper scissors with local children. During this brief period of down time, the villagers began constructing temple near our hosts house. Dr. Chen had explained to us that this location had good fengshui because it is a place where dragons would come down to honor the location. The villagers made a feast of pork and chicken to honor the gods and they blessed the site with fireworks and burning of symbolic paper money. After seeing them erectRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 4 Field Work

DATE 03/31/2016 Today was an incredibly special day, we were invited by the reserve staff to view the tourist part of the reserve where we rode a cable car up Mt. Fanjing. We were really fortunate to see this location on such a clear day. From what our guide had explained to us, the mountain is typically covered in fog and mist due to the elevation. The peak of the mountain was 2,572 meters or 8,438 feet above sea level. If you desired you could send a post card from the top of the mountain. It was amazing to seeRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 5 Field Work

DATE: 04/01/2016 We left Jiangkou to head back to Shaoudon’s village, while Dr. Chen and Shushien went on their hike into the core of the reserve to record their data. We met up with Shuang, who we haven’t seen since first departing Jiangkou because he needed to go to a local university to recruit students to aid him in the household surveys. When we arrived, Shuang and his selected team of surveyors from a local university in Tongren were finishing up a survey and training. We set up the camera and began recording from several different angles parts of theRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 6 Field Work

DATE: 04/02/2016 Today we were again tasked with assisting Dr. Chen and reserve staff in recording vegetation plot data. We traveled to first site which was a PES site and recorded vegetation data and plot survey info. The second site we visited was a location of a previous monkey sighting in which 2 years ago reserve staff had found a monkey in a snare trap. Today we found monkey poop in the area and it looked to be about 2 days old according to the forest ranger Mr. Sha. Our role today was to assist the research team in plottingRead More

Spring Scholar Program in FNNR – Day 7 Field Work

DATE: 04/03/2016 Today we traveled by foot to 3 previous camera sites that were installed in 2014 and checked the data on the cameras. We filmed the Dr. Chen and the rangers cleaning the equipment, testing the batteries, and installing new memory cards and moisture absorbency packets. The moisture packets are necessary because of the high humidity in the region and the sensitivity of the equipment. We were told that they had lost a few cameras in the past due to the humidity of the area, so protecting them from the elements was a high priority. After we returned fromRead More