Rainy Day in the Field
Today we woke up to a chilly 4*C, class what is the temperature in Fahrenheit? It has been overcast the last couple of days but today it decide to actually rain. We were told that this is good weather for Churchill. Science doesn't stop for the rain. We put on our rain suits and headed out to finish the work that we started yesterday.
Yesterday we went out to the "plantation" to measure about 350 seedlings white spruce that Dr. Kershaw and his team planted about 3 years ago. He planted the trees in the tundra to see how well they would grow. Tree advancement can occur if the changes occur in the climate that allow them to grow and reproduce. Dr. Kershaw is trying to determine the limiting factors on tree growth in the Arctic. He wants to determine whether the seedlings can grow up to produce viable seeds. Some of the seedlings were protected by wind shelters built from sticks. This provided a different microclimate for that particular seeding. The seedlings were very small and sometimes very hard to measure. Most of them were damaged by the wind and snow and many did not survive. Did you know you could tell the age of a seedling by the number of whorls it had? We had to have tutorials today, because we were still unsure about what exactly we were measuring. We used our standard metric ruler to measure the seedlings, palm pilots to record data, and boards and cameras to record a picture of each tree. Then the data will be compiled using EXCEL. Recording the data in the field can be rather difficult- we had issues with the palm pilots, the cameras and the pens used in the field. So this afternoon we were brainstorming ideas that we could try to tag specimens in the field. Poor tree growth on the tundra is really not a bad thing--- they are not suppose to be there, the seedling grow well in the forest. View the video to see Dr. Kershaw explaing what we should be measurings.
Last night we had a lecture on the Cryosphere. What were we talking about?
Check out the rest of my team!!!! They are a great group to work with.