Reed College Canyon

Observations on the Fresh-water Hydroid in the Portland Region

author: Richard Lawford
advisor: Lawrence Griffin
year: 1935

EXCERPT: The nineteenth of February 1926, Dr. L.E. Griffin, Dr. M.R. Clare, and George Dambach, a senior biology major, observed the production of medusae, budding from a small, sessile, hydroid polyp which had been collected from the stream running, through the golf-course near the Reed College Campus. This observation of the transition stages between the two phases of the life-cycle of the form excited considerable interest at the time for the animal is rare and has not yet been satisfactorily classified. In fact this was the first time the animal had been observed west of the Rocky Mountains.

Since then, the hydroids have been observed from time to time when collections were made in the stream for hydra and planarian worms, but no extensive study of the distribution of the form in the locality of Portland was undertaken.

Last fall, Dr. Griffin was kind enough to introduce me to the subject and to suggest that I take as a thesis topic the investigation of the immediate vicinity of Portland in order to find the various locations in which the hydroids may be found that it might be determined just how numerous they are here and that they might be observed over the winter.

Preliminary work on the topic developed three main problems around which the later work was organized. The first was the problem of the description and the identification of the freshwater jellyfish found in this vicinity. The second was a field problem -- the discovery of the locations in which the form may be found in the Portland region. And the third was the development of a laboratory technique for the observation and maintenance of the hydroids which were collected.