Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hunting and Gathering of Gear

I am preparing for my first field days. I have been out in the field to botanize but I have never been the one in charge. This time is different. I'm running the show. In order to keep from going crazy I have decided to post a list of supplies that I will need to hunt down and gather before going into the field. This is the first major trip that I'm planning. So hopefully after this it will be easier to get my gear in order.

Field collecting gear

Kiavah, here I come! -June 2012
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag & mat
  • Headlamp
  • 45L backpack
  • Field notebook
  • Pens
  • Plastic collecting bags
  • Zip locks
  • Bryophyte packets (just in case)
  • Field guides
    • Jepson
    • Desert wildflowers
  • Compass
  • Maps!
  • Field press
    • Newspaper
    • Pens
  • Drying press
    • Corrugates
    • Straps
  • Camera
  • GPS
    • Batteries
  • Belt
    • Pruners
    • Digging tool
  • Ice chest
    • Ice
  • Food
    • Water  (6 Gallons)
    • Camping food
      • TBA

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ready, set, ArcGIS

I completed a 24 hour online ArcGIS training course this week! What an accomplishment. It took me a month or two to chew through. At least I have the basic understanding and idea for how the software functions. I'm glad I finished it. GIS skills are powerful. I cannot wait to make maps of the Kiavah Wilderness, I hope to document interesting information from my study site.
The one thing I have to say about learning ArcGIS is, it is really helpful to have some relational database familiarity beforehand. Working in a herbarium has not only taught me amazing botany skills but also important technological skills. Learning how to enter data is one thing, learning how to restore a crashed and burned database is another. Thank you databasing and data management!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow

NOAA weather forecast for the week
It looks like a good chance that there will be snow in the Kiavah Wilderness! I am really excited to hear this prediction, I just hope that it happens.
I have been following a blog by a group of students working for the Student Conservation Association, http://www.thesca.org/node/339701. This is a great blog to learn about the conservation projects they are working on in the Kiavah Wilderness. It is also a great blog to learn about the weather conditions of the Wilderness. I am very grateful for their posts and hard work.

Keep up the great work Kiavah Crew!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Start of a New Journey

This blog is dedicated for documenting the research I will conduct for my Master's degree. I intend to post all of the triumphs and tribulations a master's student must endure doing field work in the 21st century. For my M.S. in Botany I will study the flora of the Kiavah Wilderness in the Scodie Mountains.

Where is that you might ask?
The Scodie Mountains are found at the southern terminus of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. It is a unique transition zone of various types of vegetation ranging from the desert to the Sierra Nevada. I plan to document, collect and identify as much of the flora of the Kiavah Wilderness within my reach.

What is a flora?
A flora is an intensive investigative study to survey, catalogue and describe the plant life is a particular region. A floristic study can be done on a micro or macro scale. On a macro scale one may want to know all the plants that grow in the Unites States or California. On a micro scale a researcher might be interested in a more localized region such as a county, city, wilderness, or park.
I am focusing my attention on the flora of the Kiavah Wilderness.

Along the Pacific Crest Trail looking westward- June 2012
Wish me luck and rain...