Thursday, June 9, 2011

compass points north.

maps printed, batteries charging, brace yourself for my crates, TSA... it's just about go time! kind of hard to believe that in just a little bit, we will be dropping into what i am hearing is one of the most magical spots in southeast alaska. i kinda can't imagine that reality after all the time with my head in the books. i still have yet to do first prism sweeps to assess basal area (read: aspiring forest geek) and we have a lot of little green plant friends to learn. but the adventure starts here...
the plan is to do a fly over the whole study area to assess feasibility of sites when i get there. we have paper maps and digital ones too, if technology & power stay on our side. the black circles in this map illustrate areas of yellow-cedar decline that forest health researchers mapped by hand, aerially. the blue lines are from what are called digital elevation models (DEMs) - basically top notch maps that show elevation around the globe at various resolutions. needless the say, the alaska resolution is not the best! yellow-cedars tend to die-off at lower elevations, in poorly drained soils. we hope to be able to hit up a lot of forests across a large area (paddling, hiking, whatever it takes) so we plan to stay low in the coastal "niche" of these trees and their neighbors (below the blue).

team outer coast is accepting summertime cookies (as well as donations for the insane costs of research in alaska!). welcome paul fischer, who emerged like a champ from the pack forest of washington to join us. when we are drying out and downloading data, we will be accessible through the Sitka Sound Science Center: 834 Lincoln St # 20, Sitka, AK 99835.

ok --- more from glacier bay national park next week... thank you to the very long list of people from north to south who have helped get everything in order this spring and to those who told me to just keep at it, with a leap of faith into the wilderness. - Lauren

1 comment:

  1. Go Lauren and team!! We can't wait to follow your adventures. Best of luck for a smooth launch and a treasure of discoveries.