Monday, June 26, 2017

Introducing Sarah...

Hello ! My name is Sarah. I’m a rising senior at Keene State College located in Keene, NH. I’m a biology major with a psychology minor. I’m really interested in animal physiology, neurobiology, and behavior.  

I’m so excited to be joining the 2017 Marmoteers. I’ve always loved animals, particularly rodents. I always had hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs growing up. The second I laid eyes on a yellow-bellied marmot, I fell in love. Just the species name makes you smile…

I’m having an absolutely fantastic time here with the ladies of our lab. The days might be long, and field work can be tough, but I love being outside all day and observing the marmots play, interact, and explore their world. The mountains here are breathtaking ! It is incredibly beautiful.

Handling the marmots is one of my favorite things that we do. We take a variety of measurements – left hind foot, AG distance, assessing repro status, scoring docility behaviors - and we take blood, hair, and fecal samples. Despite their fat round bellies, the marmots are surprisingly strong!

I like to think the marmots are pretty similar to us. They hang out with their family, eat, and sun themselves on rocks most of the day. Seems like a pretty good life !

I’m so happy that I get to apply some skills I’ve learned recently in my Animal Behavior class, such as recording focals and scoring animal behaviors using an ethogram. I was hoping for a field research experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one !

Excited to see what else the summer brings…

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