Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting Ready

The end of exams are near and we leave 2 weeks from Saturday. It is warming up in the park and we should be in good shape for doing science and checking out the park.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday May 2 Morning Bad Weather=Grizzly

Headed out to Gardiner Basin to collect data in the AM and the weather turned nasty. So we decided to head out to look for Grizzlies. Had heard that there had been one hanging out at an appropriately named site, Grizzly Lake. We had success. Watched this Grizz graze for about an hour. Turned around and headed back to GB and the weather had improved.

We worked on quantifying the establishment of eight native species that were no-till drill planted last October into and area that had been intentionally burned. We used a PVC frame with a grid of string to count the number of squares that had the native species of interest in them and we also counted Alyssum desertorum, our invasive weed. Early take home is that some species are doing well and others not so much. But Alyssum doesn't seem to be negatively effecting establishment.

We made two kinds of lasagna for dinner, Spinach and meat (spicy Italian sausage and Montana beef).
We are using a Facebook page too. It's easier to update from the field but with less detail.
Anyone can see it, you don't have to login to Facebook to view the page.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Late update for April 30-May 1.

April 30: We got up early (5:30AM departure) to go wildlife spotting. We saw plenty of bison, elk, and pronghorn antelope but no wolves or grizzlies. Stopped by the Yellowstone Center for Resources to pick up bear spray and vests then headed down to Gardiner Basin to start sampling. It was windy but not too cold.
Collected soil cores at Cinnabar, Stevens Creek, Reese Creek, and the native Remnant to test a  new soil respiration method. On the way back to the lodge we saw a herd of Bighorn Sheep rams.

May1: Slept in a little later and met up with Doug Frank from Syracuse University and his field technician Pete at the Yellowstone Center for Resources at Mammoth Hot Springs. We headed out to the Lamar Valley to haul fencing for animal exclosures. The National Park Service is interested in determining what the effect of increased numbers of bison in the park is having  on grassland productivity in the Northern Winter Range. The Lamar site is a mesic (moist) site and we hauled fencing to a xeric (dry) site near Crystal Creek.
Collected more cores from Cinnabar for a urea titration experiment. For dinner we had stir fry with rice noodles.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Landed and Settled

Flights went smoothly, shopping done, dinner gone, dishes clean. Time for bed.
Picture below is the view of Mammoth Hot Springs from Sunny Slope Lodge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A new season begins. Eight students and one professor heading to one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
We have a Facebook page and will be blogging and Facebooking (word?).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yellowstone Reflections

Now that our class is over, it's both sad and exciting to look back at all of the things we have accomplished. We hiked, we wolfed, we soil core'd, we root picked, and we learned to work together as one big group. No single group had been able to collect as much data as we have in the past, if not purely because of our numbers. We can only hope that all of our hard work will come to fruition in a solution to the invasive species problem that Yellowstone has been fighting for years. Until then, we have our memories and our pictures to remind us of all the hard work and good times we had in Yellowstone.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Day!

The last day of spring term is upon us, and looking around the lab, it is incredible the amount of work we have accomplished in only a few short weeks! Not only have we collected nearly 300 samples, we have begun the process of determining the pH, basal respiration rate, root biomass, Nitrogen content, and ammonia content. Since we have finished the seed bank samples, looking at the amount of Alyssum seeds inside and outside of each exclosure, we have determined that the Cinnabar and Stephen's Creek exclosures have less seeds than that of the seed bank samples we collected outside of the exclosures, as well as Reese Creek. This is certainly promising, as these are the two exclosures that have experienced the longest time period of treatments, and our treatments seem to be on the right path! Reese Creek is the newest exclosure, so it only makes sense that we would find more Alyssum seeds in that area.
Also, we have all now written our reflection papers on the trip to the park, and I'm sure I can speak for everyone when I say, wow! This trip not only helped us to realize the true importance of Dr. Hamilton's work, we also were exposed to some of the greatest and most majestic sights in the entire world! Now that we are working on our lab reports, many key concepts have come together, and the bigger picture of the project is beginning to take hold.
A big thank you to Dr. Hamilton and Mr. Huffnagle for making this truly amazing trip possible! It was a great year!