Lab Assistant I


University of California-Berkeley –
Carrizo Plain National Monument, CA
Apr. 2 – Sept. 11, 2012

I was a field technician on the sixth year of a long-term food web study initiated at the Carrizo Plain National Monument, the Carrizo Plain Ecosystem Project. The Monument is the largest remnant of the San Joaquin grassland ecosystem and contains many endangered plants and animals. The work of our four-person field crew involved a variety of field surveys, focusing especially on the mark-recapture of endangered giant kangaroo rats by PIT tagging and ear tagging.

- Performed a variety of wildlife surveys as part of a long-term study to evaluate the role of grazing as a management tool
- Conducted vegetation composition and biomass quadrat sampling surveys, bird point counts, lethal trapping for gophers, mark-recapture of giant kangaroo rats (Sherman traps) and San Joaquin antelope squirrels (Tomahawk traps), visual line transect surveys for reptiles, spotlighting surveys for predators and lagomorphs, pitfall trapping for invertebrates
- Processed captures for mark-recapture studies of giant kangaroo rats ( > 200 individuals) and San Joaquin antelope squirrels ( > 50), includes PIT and ear tagging
- Recorded opportunistic observations of avian and mammalian predators, sensitive species
- Performed plot maintenance and repair of hardware cloth exclosures
- Entered data

The Carrizo Plain National Monument is located approximately 4 hours southeast of the San Francisco Bay area, about 60 miles inland from the city of San Luis Obispo. (Click to view a larger image.)

Carrizo Plain Ecosystem Project -

Supervisors: Rachel Endicott (Project Manager), Monica Brick (Crew Leader)

© 2018 by CATHERINE FROCK. Created with