Samantha in Taos

Samantha is a senior majoring in biology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A member of the University Honors Program, she received a Richter Fellowship for summer 2012 to conduct research at SMU-in-Taos. She is investigating the frequency of ectoparasites in specific habitats by collecting them off deer mice. She expects to find ticks, mites, fleas, botflies and more, and will document which parasites are near rivers, woodlands and deserts. With this information she plans to inform residents and visitors of Taos how to stay parasite free and avoid possible transmission of diseases.

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Hello, nature!

First thing in the morning, we biology students were hard at work. My classmates and I had to clean and organize the Parasitology lab. Scrubbing, rinsing, rearranging all the equipment to collect the mice on Sunday night.

A few students last night saw a mouse in their casitas so we know they are roaming the area! We had to wash 60 traps to set out and will be putting peanut butter in them tomorrow for bait, but more on that later. After a few hours the lab looked completely renovated!

After class I took a nature trail walk and spotted a beaver making his dam, and later I sat on Dr. Ubelaker’s porch to watch the hummingbirds. It is really fascinating how many hummingbirds gather in the evening; I noted over 40 while I was there.

Lastly, classmates gathered around for our very first casita fire! It was the perfect way to end the night.

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