Madison Boone's blog

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.

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