This study was my undergraduate honors thesis for biology. I used ginkgo leaves, which are bright yellow and do not occur at the site of the stream, to study how coarse particulate organic matter is retained. I went around parks in Pittsburgh collecting thousands of ginkgo leaves, and dried them in my house, covering every flat surface of my bedroom. For the largest experiment I enlisted the help of my family in carefully counting 10,000 leaves. They had to be neutrally buoyant so I soaked them in a cooler before driving out to the field site. The country road to Powdermill Nature Reserve was snowy and I skidded into a tree causing the cooler to burst open. I then had to explain to a state trooper why I was peeling leaves off the interior of my truck. I worked under Dr. Ken Cummins, and found a particular interest in streams with this project. Products include: Raikow et al. 1995.

  • Fields: Ecology
  • Study Type: Field experiment
  • Ecosystems: Streams
  • Organisms: -