Team SPAW 2021

Team SPAW is hosted and mentored by Salish Kootenai College

Participants: Lori Huck, Zanti Rains, Antawnna Berthelote, Aspen Jaeger

Mentors: Antony Berthelote and Dennis Lichtenberg, Salish Kootenai College; Rebekah Brassfield, University of Montana, Missoula; Peter Gillard and Chauncy Means, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Image by Dennis Lichtenberg

Team SPAW had two local participants, Antawnna Berthelote and Aspen Jaeger, who did research on Bumble Bees as part of the ongoing initiative of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to understand the relationship between pollinators, plants, people, and local wildlife.

Two virtual participants, Lori and Zanti, have been working hard on their projects developing Story Maps. This summer, they will be storytellers of two different water issues going on in the Flathead Valley in Montana. They will read and understand articles and papers and spend weeks doing research behind their computers about these issues and their cultural sensitivity. They will put their findings into each of their StoryMaps, translating the time consuming and complicated research into a compelling, bite-size story as a learning resource for the community.

Zanti’s project is centered around Finley Point, some of the largest intact wetlands on Flathead Lake in Montana. Wetlands on the Lake have greatly eroded, mostly due to the effect of Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ Dam(originally known as Kerr Dam). Wetlands prevent flooding, improve water quality, store carbon, provide a habitat for a multitude of wildlife, and much more. In addition to their environmental importance, they are culturally significant to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). My job this summer is to learn how to restore and preserve them and to use community outreach through StoryMaps to inform and inspire the public.

Lori’s project is focused on communicating a restoration project.

Antawnna Berthelote

Click here to see Tawnna’s Story Map

Antawnna’s Project:

Salt Preferences of Bumble Bees by Antawnna Berthelote, Salish Kootenai College and Rebekah Brassfield, University of Montana

Abstract:  The importance of dietary salt may explain observations of bees collecting brackish water, a habit that may expose them to harmful xenobiotics. However, the individual salt preferences of water-collecting bees have yet to be documented in nature. Previous studies of the salt preferences of honeybee foraging or Seasonality of salt foraging in honeybees is documented in laboratory conditions (Bonoan, 2016). This research observed bee (Bombus Melanopygus) consumption for varying 1% salt solutions of Na, Mg, Ca and K, ions that were assumed to provide essential nutrients. A single bee was observed taking interest in both the Na and Mg solution with more time at the NA solution which may imply salt specialization.

Aspen Jaeger

Click here to see Aspen’s Story Map.

Aspen’s Project:

Bumble Bee Tongue Length and Preference over Flower Depths by Aspen Jaeger, Salish Kootenai College and Rebekah Brassfield, University of Montana

Abstract:Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are crucial pollinators for crops and native species, but they are in steep decline due to a variety of complex factors. This study was aimed at determining floral resource preference of bumble bees based on corolla depth and tongue length. By using previous years’ data and non-lethal captures, tongue length and corolla length were evaluated for trends. The data show long-tongued bees utilize a greater diversity of flowers. Understanding the relationships between species and flowering resources is important knowledge needed to encourage bumble bee populations to recover and flourish.

Zanti Rains

Click here to see Zanti’s Story Map.

Zanti’s Project:

Community Outreach on the Erosion of the East Bay Marsh. Authors: Zanti Rains, Florida State University; Dennis Lichtenberg, Salish Kootenai College and Peter Gillard, The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Abstract: An environmentally and culturally important wetland is in danger of eroding away. The East Bay marsh is the second largest marsh on Flathead Lake and the CSKT and others want to prevent future erosion. For this vision to succeed, an essential step is informing, learning from, and working with the community, which is where this project comes in. The first step of the project was to gather information through literature review and interviews. After that, a community outreach StoryMap was created to inform and inspire the public about the issues that the East Bay marsh is facing and how to restore and preserve the marsh. The next step will be to integrate this StoryMap with other community outreach efforts to work with the community to better manage the wetland.

Lori Huck

Click here to see Lori’s Story Map

Lori’s Project:

Using StoryMaps to Communicate Success of a Tribal Stream Restoration Project by Lori Huck, Oklahoma State University

Abstract:  Stream restoration projects can mitigate water quality issues and restore riparian ecosystem functions. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recently implemented such a restoration project on the Mission Creek in Western Montana. Several benefits are visible from the project such as bank stabilization, improved water quality, and habitat restoration. The Mission Creek Project’s (MCP) main goal was to restore fish habitat to Mission Creek that once held a population of the endangered bull trout. Communicating the science and outcomes of this type of project to the public can be challenging. The MCP attempted to assist the Tribe by developing an interactive virtual Story Map of the completed project for Tribal education and outreach. This poster serves as a summary of the MCP and the Communicating Science (CS) outcomes for the project. It is intended to illustrate an alternative way to present science to communities and deliver outreach that is less fleeting, more capable of evolving, and capable of reaching a broader audience.