Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snowed in

We woke up to 3-4 inches of powder with plenty still falling maye 6 inches total. It is starting to clear now at 2:40PM and the snow is melting. Up to now we have been making bacterial and fungal petri plates and then plating soil extracts containing microbes from Gardiner Basin soils. We are testing for effects of the A. desertorum on microbial growth. A total of 90 plates were prepared and innoculated in 5 hours. A bunch of work and now we wait. We are going to head out looking for wildlife this afternoon and have a late stir fry dinner. The video below sums up the morning. Hopefully we can update later with some grizzly and wolf pics.


  1. We've seen a few new species since the last update, bringing out total up to 37 species.

    Wilson's Snipe
    Great-horned Owl
    Hairy Woodpecker
    Yellow-headed Blackbird
    Cassin's Finch

    The Owl sighting was particularly exciting. We startled it out of the dry creek bed at Steven's Creek. It flew right over Dr. Hamilton's ear. The Snipe and Yellow-headed were in a marshy pond in yellowstone that had lots of migrating Mallards.

  2. oops. forgot White-breasted Nuthatch. Dr. Hamilton got some great pictures of one right outside of the lab/kitchen

  3. Hello Bill and Students,

    I'm enjoying reading about your projects on the blog. Your blog is a great idea. It's also making me very wistful for YNP, especially as I sit here grading papers. YNP at any time of year is great, but I especially love the Spring and Fall.

    To the students, the opportunity that your class provides is truly exceptional. Savor all of your time in the park, it is a very special place. And give a big "thank you" to Dr. Hamilton for all of his hard work to put a course like this together. Work hard and have fun!

    I'm looking forward to learning more about your various incubations related to the Gardiner Basin invasives and microbial communities. You are tracking down some exciting data! My student (Kim, who is working on related data from my time in the park) and I are anxious to hear what you discover.

    Meanwhile, because I'm a geology buff, if you get a chance to visit the Upper Geyser Basin, try to see Grand Geyser erupt. It is the largest predictable geyser in the world. It never disappoints. Unless you've seen Grand Geyser erupt before, I doubt you have seen anything like it. Predicted eruption times are posted in the Visitor's Center. It is worth the wait.

    Keep up the great work and say hi to Landslide Creek for me.

    Best wishes, Eric
    Oswego State University