“Backyard” sites done:
We had a very long day today. Most of the time was spent searching for suitable plots. Not too shallow, not too barren (some plants should be in there), not too rocky. Let alone that this whole area has shallow soils that overlay bedrock, and that vegetation is sporadic. Almost an impossible task! Leave that to us: we found sites that matched our criteria and they were situated about half-way in between our other two sites (our highly vegetated site by the station and the bare soil site near the glacier). Perfect!
We carried a lot of gear, but even then we forgot a couple of items. Below you can see me carrying the stainless steel rings that we insert into the soil so that we have a nice seal for our our carbon flux measurements.
Kelly is an expert in inserting them. She is also a pro on balancing on rock while she is doing it - this helps prevent trampling of the precious little vegetation.
Kelly has had a lot of field experience prior to joining my lab, and it is clear by how we work together. Someone with field experience fills in what needs to be done so that together the work flow of the team is fluent.
And voilá, the work was completed late today! You can see our rain gauge in the photo also. Other measurements include soil temperature and soil moisture inside individual plots.
There is one more site to go: the highest vegetation site on Litchfield Island. Perhaps tomorrow if the weather is good!