Paul Smelter's Diary
Mammals of Nova Scotia

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June 22, 2009: First post

Hi one & all, my name is Paul Smelter, from Alcoa's Point Henry smelter here in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. I would first of all like to take the opportunity to thank Earthwatch and Alcoa for giving me and other Alcoans a chance to go on this expedition, assist the research, and have a chance to help improve our ways of doing things. Today is the first day of my blog for this expedition, and so far it has been a very busy day, with packing up items at home to take with me: clothing, footwear, first aid kit, etc. All flight arrangements have been finalized as well as accommodation and I'm just waiting to go and meet up with the rest of the team members in Halifax on June 28 at the airport. I have been in contact with other members via email for the past three to four weeks or so, and they all sound like we will get on well and should learn a great deal from this trek together.

What is a Vole?

Shane Carter | Posted Wed 24 Jun 2009 9:25AM

A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, and smaller ears and eyes. There are approximately 70 species of voles; they are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. The voles, together with the lemmings and the muskrats, form the subfamily Arvicolinae.

Shane, I hope that this is what you are after. As I've not seen a vole I had to to google to get the anwser for you but once I get to Canada I hope to get a photo and will send it back to you. Cheers Shane, and thanks again for taking an interest in what Earthwatch & Alcoa are to help with climate control and the sustainability of our planet.

Paul Smelter | Posted Wed 24 Jun 2009 9:35PM

Here's a neat web link where you can compare voles, mice and moles:

Brad Fisher | Posted Wed 24 Jun 2009 9:36PM

Click image to enlarge.

Paul Smelter, maintenance technician Pt Henry smelter, Victoria, Australia