Denis Drouin’s Diary
Climate Change, Canopies and Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Andes

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September 29, 2009: Collecting precious data

TempMoistureDataCollector  I’m working with Anne, Daniela and Tim as expedition leader. Our assignment is "Climate change -- collecting Data." It consists of reaching moisture and temperature module data collectors. These are electronic, battery operated modules. They can record for 18 months without maintenance, depending on the setting. We started by walking down to a river. Our first objective is on the other side of the river in a cave -- a bat cave! Don’t worry, they sleep during the day. Our task consists of: 1-Untie the module from its monitoring position 2-Identify the module location and serial number. 3-Connect the unit to a computer and download the data. 4-Replace the battery (Make sure to bring the old one back for recycling). 5- Put the unit back in place. Our duty is very simple, but the information in these small yellow boxes is so valuable. During the day we visited 6 different spots and repeated the fives steps. One of the spots has a CameraTrap  remote sensor to collect water temperature in a stream. We have, by the way, learned that there is a decline of water temperature in proportion to an elevation in earth altitude. On our way back we offset the main trail to have a guided tour by Tim to an artisanal banana and sugar cane plantation. There are also coffee trees on the way back. The after-dinner presentation was about camera traps in the reserve. Xavier heads up that program and showed us some great photos of Pumas, Spectacled Bears, and other animals. We learn that when spectacled bears climb a tree, they stay JunggleHamoc  in this tree until all fruit is eaten. This is why he breaks branches -- to make some kind of a nest to relax and rest in the tree. It's a special night tonight for Anne, Martin and I: we are going to sleep in jungle hammocks, in the forest.

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