Team SPAW is done!!! It’s been a crazy few days of madly trying to finish up our papers and posters, complete with references and photos. But today the posters were printed and laid out to dry, and at 5pm the finishing touches were put on the last reports. A collective sigh of relief was breathed by all. To celebrate, we had a great dinner of moose, elk, and bison steaks, rounded out by tapioca pudding and red velvet brownies for dessert.
We’re super excited for our road trip to Glacier National Park tomorrow, and after that it’ll be time to pack up for Minnesota! Looking forward to seeing everyone!
A productive day full of hard work for Team SPAW. Jenna and Ashley finished up their hydrometer measurements and Natasha and Char worked on creating maps of the reservation based on their interviews with tribal members and elders. Rik helped me with making maps of the sampling transects from GPS waypoints, and all of us have been meeting with Tony to discuss edits on our papers. We’ve also been itching mosquito bites we got yesterday at the pond, and combing tangles out of our hair from the drive around the Bison Range. Looking forward to the video conference tomorrow – can’t wait to show our pictures of Yellowstone, etc and to hear about what everyone else has been up to.
We’ve all been doing a lot of individual work recently, and I personally have been spending my time reading, writing, and attempting to analyze the data we’ve gathered on plant communities. Patrick has been working on his GIS habitat modeling, Natasha has been conducting interviews, and Jenna and Ashley are finishing up the soil testing and working on their results.
We’ve had a quiet week gearing up for Yellowstone, so I’ll talk about what we did over the weekend. On Friday, we met with Tony in the morning to go over his edits on our papers so far. In the afternoon, Jenna, Natasha, and I went for a hike with Loga. Lake McDonald is nestled among the Mission Mountains and is a really beautiful spot.
Hiking with Loga!
We had a relaxing day on Saturday (spent some time at the lake), and then on Sunday we drove down to Missoula at 7 in the morning to watch Natasha finish her half marathon. Serious props. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the shops and then watched the World Cup final in a restaurant. All in all, a fun weekend that rested us up for a week of hard work!
It’s been a productive week so far for Team SPAW. We are making great strides in our writing and for the most part are finishing up with data collection. Ashley, Jenna and I drove down to Missoula with Tony this morning to take advantage of the resources in the University of Montana’s Mansfield Library (go griz!). We also visited the education building to see the OmniGlobe – it projects all kinds of cool stuff, like volcano locations, weather patterns, language prevalence, etc, onto a large globe (see the photo below).
In the afternoon, the team met at Tony’s house to catch the tail end of the World Cup match (Argentina!) and to work together on our paper. Progress is being made! Plans are to continue working in the lab, meeting with mentors, writing, and conducting interviews for the rest of the week.
OmniGlobe showing ocean currents
It’s been a hot week here in Pablo! Thankfully, the team got all the field work finished up last week so we’ve mostly been avoiding the heat. Several of us spent Monday and Tuesday in the lab, continuing the chemical tests on the soil samples from Camas Prairie and Kickinghorse. The college is closed for 4th of July, so the rest of the week we’ve been reading up and working on our papers. The cultural team has also been phoning around to ask elders for interviews and visiting the opening events of the Arlee powwow.
The girls (Jenna, Natasha, and Minnie) have also been expanding our cultural horizons (read: enjoying ourselves while Tony is gone 🙂 ). We attended our first rodeo with Ashley in Polson over the weekend, and went to Riverside Park to enjoy the weather while we did some reading. We also made Indian tacos with Char teaching us how to make Arizona-style frybread – they were incredible. We are looking forward to the weekend’s 4th of July celebrations and attending the powwow, and of course are anxiously awaiting Tony’s return.
Mission Mountain Rodeo in Polson, MT. 6/28/14.
LaMotte Soil Testing Kit and soil filtrate from a Kickinghorse sample. 6/30/14.
Today some members of the team were up early to accompany elders of the tribe out to Camas Prairie. They were digging camas bulbs for the bake, which is scheduled for sometime next week. The camas will be cooked with tree moss that was gathered at Tony’s cabin in Thompson Falls over the weekend – we got a whole garbage bag full!
In the afternoon, we met Pat Hurley down at the Kickinghorse field site to set up more transects for soil sampling and plant identification. It was hot and sunny and a couple interns got some lovely burns. Afterwards we headed over to Tony’s house to work on our general introduction and site description. There was a lot of editing and reorganizing from our individual drafts but we finally got a nice final product (and paid!).
Team SPAW at the Kickinghorse field site.
Day 3: An early start for Team SPAW! At 8am, we met with Pat Hurley, professor of botany at SKC and resident plant guru. Pat gave an overview of plant sampling methods- random, systematic, and stratified – and then led us outside to evaluate a square meter plot. She helped the team identify plants such as reed canarygrass, canada thistle, and tumble mustard. Afterwards, she helped the team select the sampling methods that are best suited to our goals relating to plant identification. We broke for lunch and returned at noon to meet with Shandin, to continue discussing the project objectives. Once that was mostly settled, we headed to the computer lab to do a literature search on methodologies that we’ll be implementing. The rest of the day/night was dedicated to the piles of reading that we’ve accumulated these last few days.
Today was Natasha’s birthday! The girls went out to Ronan Cafe for a delicious breakfast, then returned to campus. Our plans for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) training were thwarted by the heavy rain, so we turned instead to indoor work. Ashley and Jenna met with Shandin to discuss soil methodology, then measured the soil samples they collected on Monday at Camas Prairie. The interns also worked on the General Introduction for the final paper, based on the discussion we had yesterday about what topics to focus on and how to progress from one subject to another. The team gathered at Tony’s house in the evening for a birthday dinner celebration.