Thursday, January 11, 2018

Field Work

Monday, we started the morning as usual, looking at the view...

Bekah having a cuppa in the traditional Costa Rican leather chair.

Dr. Tim Parshall is partial to coffee.  Here, he demonstrates safe drinking technique.

 Our guest, Ariana.

Woodpecker on the hike to the bus. 

Today we went to a field site to measure the growth of a experimental reforestation patch Deb planted June 2011.  WSU students have worked on the plot almost every year since, collecting data on tree growth and health.  The overall goal is to create forested connections from highland areas down to the coast to provide necessary habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.  This part of the research involves comparing the growth of trees in reforestation plots which have received different management techniques including just planting, planting and fertilizing, and planting with mowing.   At first, they thought that planting and mowing was the best technique, because those trees seemed to grow best, but now they are thinking that not mowing is better, because then trees grow upward and away from competing species more quickly.  Here's what the students did.

You have to cross some pasture land to get to the reforestation site.

Here, you can see the difference between the reforested conservation land to the left of the fence line, and pasture to the right.

Deb gives an overview of the property.

We were greeted by this beautiful orchid. 

Check out the attachment of the orchid to the tree!

Students recorded the height, diameter at breast height, number of leaves, tree health, leaf damage, fungus or mold, flowers, and other characteristics.  These are Paige, Ariana, and Bekah. 

Tim and John measuring their plot.

Tim explains the procedure to Kate and Nick.

Chris and Macklin (I think).

Deb and Bridget check data.

Chloe, Heather, and Paige counting leaves.

Chris is an ant magnet, and got stung several times at the site.

Josh checking out a tree. 

Chris, Coltin and Bridget measure the width of the crown on a tree.

Macklin measures the height of a tree.

Tim directing his group to a tree and recording the data for the tree.

Deb worked the no-mow trees, which were VERY overgrown.  Nick recorded the data.

Here, Dr. Parshall demonstrates the correct and safe way to use a tape. 

Heather, Paige and Chloe sampling. 

John is thinking it out. 

Where's Tim?  If you can spot Tim in this photo, give yourself one point. 

Give yourself a point for every student you spot in this picture.  (Hint...there are at least three). As you can see, much of the plot has heavy growth.  Eventually, the trees will be taller than the brush, shade the brush out, and the forest will be established.

Hot, tired, thirsty students heading to lunch.

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