Day 3 has been rather long, but lots of fun. I rolled out of bed at 6:55 but was showered and dressed in time for breakfast at 7:15. And I must say: breakfast was fantastic. We had belgian waffles with fruit topping, scrambled eggs, sausages, and fresh fruit. There was also much whipped cream to be had.
After breakfast, I left with three others to go for a hike up the Barrier Lake fire lookout trail. All started out well, but as the trail got steeper I fell back a bit. I’m not used to being the one to hold the group back, so after a point I told the others to go ahead and I would catch up, which I did. We didn’t go all the way to the lookout – we were all pretty tired, and we had to make sure to get back to the Field Station for lunch, which was hamburgers, potato wedges, and soup, with pudding for dessert. The best part is that it was bright and sunny, just a little chilly first thing in the morning. The crappy thing is that I rolled my ankle a couple times, but it was not unusable or badly hurt so I was just fine.
The afternoon’s work consisted of an exercise in vegetation sampling in a road-forest transition. We used the belt-transect method in an effort to estimate species density and abundance, recording the amount of area each species covered in a 1-m by 1-m quadrat at different points along a linear transect. (This may not mean much to many readers, but it’s what we did.) We also collected microclimate data at each sampling location to observe how temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed varied as we moved into or out of the forest.
I was not so keen on dinner tonight, which had a protein component of grilled salmon. The rest was alright, though: a nice wild rice and grain dish, a strange fruit salad, and green beans with baby carrots. Dessert was a delicious apple crisp, but it was a little light on the apple (unless you did what I did and took some extra filling that was left by others).
Now we are all (I will be very shortly also) working on getting our vegetation sampling data into a spreadsheet and uploaded to the course website before midnight, by which time I plan to be sleeping.
Tomorrow we will be doing more vegetation sampling using different methods, such as the point-quarter method used for determining tree species density. That is in the morning. The afternoon has us collecting water quality data at Beaver Ponds for use in our statistics/data analysis/interpretation class.
Oh yeah… I have to say also that the UofC BGS staff is great in at least one way: they encourage the practice of the navy shower (they call it a marine shower, though). Unfortunately they did not talk about this during their briefing on Monday, so I will have to mention that in my comments when we leave.