Blogs

Austin Simonpietri - July 2018

A few setbacks but back on track, that is what the past month of work has entailed. The piñon pines that we received from a nursery and transplanted did not take well and the majority have died before the experiment could get underway. What the nursery believes to have been the cause of this is due to strange winter weather events they had, because they had a similar die off of their stock of 2-year old piñons.

Ticha Padgett-Stewart - July 2018

I am starting to wrap up my time in Australia and only have 2 more weeks of sampling to go! This winter sampling season has been an intense one, but I have learned so much about the ecology of flying foxes and problem solving for large, sampling intensive projects like this one. So far, one of the biggest challenges I have faced while I have been here is limited time for sample analysis, which has in turn forced the need for solutions in sample preservation.

Kristin Katchmar - July 2018

Over the last month I have been dissecting and evaluating the information I collected while in Yunguilla, Ecuador. I have been working through my interviews and dissecting the information I have acquired. Most of my research is done on my days off because I am also working a full-time waitressing job.

Aimee Heffernan - July 2018

June was our first month in the field collecting data and man, did we have some hiccups. Our team was caught in snow storms, lightning storms, hail, and torrential downpours. While the four of us have taken physical beatings from bush-wacking, crossing creeks that shouldn’t be crossed, and hiking 10+ miles a day, our vehicles have been equally punished.

Lyman Dudley - July 2018

No Stone Left Unturned: Searching the Talus

Joshua Botti-Anderson - July 2018

While our project is still far from being completed, I am confident that the obstacles and accomplishments I have experienced since its beginning have thoroughly satisfied your interest. I, too, have become enlightened as I’ve passed through the various stages required to complete this study. In April, while looking over a month into the future, we found locations for the trap-nests, about half of which needed special permission from urban landowners.

Zane Ashford - July 2018

The past few weeks in the Zabinski lab have been incredibly busy. We have finally finished extracting the potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN) from the soil and have analyzed the three hundred samples in the Environmental Analytical Lab in order to detect ammonium concentration before and after the growing season. A preliminary analysis of the data yielded promising results that there is a significant amount of nitrogen available to plants, indicating that the soils are not nitrogen deficient; however, I have yet to look at species specific differences in ammonium content.

Stacey Robbins - June 2018

Through June, my time has been focused on preparing for fieldwork while the sites I have selected from satellite images are becoming available after snowmelt.  After selecting a couple potential sites around Red Lodge, I spent a few days hiking and scouting out which areas would be best to survey.  Each location needs to have an abrupt tree line, plus 300 m above it with terrain at which a tree could potentially establish.  This turned out to be more rare than expected, as many of the areas in my preliminary search turned into rocky, uninhabitable terrain.  It is essential to my study to ch

Zane Ashford - June 2018

It has been a busy past few weeks, both in the field and in the lab. During the last week of May, Dr. Catherine Zabinski, Kristi D’Agati, and I went to the MPG Ranch in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana to collect my soil core samples. And as the name of the game goes with research, our intended sampling plots, consisting of native and invasive forbs, weren’t growing well this year. In order to assess how belowground root traits affect soil quality, it is imperative that we have healthy roots to sample.

Austin Simonpietri - June 2018

Between May 15th to June 15th I have been moving between lab work, field work and experimental set up for projects related to chemical ecology. 

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