A good start of the day:
Last night three of us (Keri, PJ and I) stayed up until the early hours of the morning. We were hoping to catch the “green flash” - A phenomenon when there is a green pool of light for a few seconds as the sun dips below the ocean horizon. I forgot that the sun’s direction is the opposite here than what I am used to (it is going from right to left), so I did not realize it would set straight behind a line of clouds on the horizon. So, the clouds obscured what could have been an amazing green flash sighting.
No matter - as I walked back to my room, the scenery opposite of where the sun had set was amazing. The moon was up and above the Marr Ice Piedmont glacier with its reflection in the waters of Arthur harbor. Absolutely stunning. A good start of the day.
First (of four) sites set up
In order to plan where to place the open-top cone chambers Kelly and I connected lightsticks together that, once connected, would be the same size as the footprint of our chamber. It was fun to make them glow! Of course, we did this all in the name of science (wink)!
By placing them on the ground we could more easily see where to put the chambers. In the photo below you can also see that we inserted stainless steel collars in the vegetation. We will remove them again at the end of the season and the mosses will close back up again. We use these collars so we can ensure a tight seal for when we measure carbon fluxes.
We also installed sensors to determine how much the experiment is warming the soil, and how moist the soil is. Plant and microbial activity (and thus also carbon fluxes) are highly sensitive to moisture and temperature. Kelly is ensuring that the data loggers and sensors are working propertly.
One site done. Four more sites to go (and hopefully, the remaining snow will melt soon to expose more suitable sites).