Summer on a Shoestring


A Quest for a Place to Sit in the Plots
August 9, 2018, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Chase here! I thought I’d share something that has been a huge part of my research experience here at MELNHE.

Early on in my soil respiration journeys using a Licor-8100, I learned something essential: you shouldn’t sit in the plots, except on rocks. This is important information for soil respiration researchers, because you put the dome of the Licor on a respiration collar, type the label into the iPod Touch that controls it (because we work with state of the art appliances here at MELNHE!), and wait for it to measure the CO2 coming out of the soil. And in this time, while you prepare mentally to pick up the ~25 lb bag with the rest of the instrument in it, you might want to sit down.licor-with-ll-bean-backpack.jpg

From my travels through the plots, I developed a real appreciation for what I now lovingly call “sitting rocks.” This catchy name came about one day in C2, after a VERY long day of respiration measurement. Donna said to me “Chase, you’re gonna love this. There is a premiere sitting rock right here, right next to a collar!” And really, what more could a girl ask for?

Sitting Rock in C7

Sometimes, in the middle of a long day of respiration measurement, there was no more beautiful sight than a nice, flat sitting rock near a respiration collar. On multiple occasions I would exclaim to whomever happened to be in the vicinity, “Ah, a perfect sitting rock! Look at this beauty!” To which they would usually reply something like, “That’s nice, Chase.”  

Sitting Rock in C9

And it gets better; sitting rocks aren’t only for respiration! On long days taking notes for Kate while she documented germinant survival, a sitting rock was a great find! On a beautiful day in Jeffers Brook, Kate approached a germinant plot and immediately saw an impeccable sitting rock. In reality, sitting throne describes this marvel better. A huge chunk of quartz, spotted with moss, sat right next to a germ plot. And I got to sit on it as I scribbled about dead sugar maple germinants! Life at MELNHE is full of surprises, and sitting rocks are many of them.

Quartz Throne in JBO

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