My project I am working on revolves around the forest canopy and how the cover reflects on the growth of the huckleberries. That neat little box is a spherical densitometer. Using that I can tell how much canopy there is in each specific spot I am using. There are 4 students using a North, East, South and West transect that is 30.5 meters long or 100 feet in each direction from a center point in the middle of our 10 huckleberry plants we are racking at each of our sites.
During the beginning of the week we usually have field days where as you guessed it…we go out into the field to our huckleberry sites. This week was, in a sense, our practice week to get our procedures we will be utilizing to gather our data needed to complete our projects. I am really sad that I didn’t get pictures of us laying out our transects or gathering our data. This next for sure I will though.
In our off time we did a few things with our group and another group here on campus…Duh Duh Duhhhhh….The NASA group!!!
We went to a bird conservatory, hiked to Mission Falls, BBQ’d up to Tony’s, seen the Salish Longhouse where they were having their annual Culture and Language Camp, visited with a talented group of people who are working to revitalize various tribal languages through board and card games, seen the People’s Center where they hold community cultural classes every Friday and seen a little tiny part of Glacier National Park.
The people in this community are amazingly nice people who have thus far welcomed us with open arms. It’s a wonderful place here in Montana.
On Monday we got a visit by Tabitha Gray. She is did a presentation on the bear population throughout Glacier National Park. It was amazing hearing what they found. The volunteers they had collecting hair from bear rubs, collected hair from various trails throughout the park. This was able to generate DNA data that was able to compile a database that pieced together family relationships. One bear had 108 known descendants.
After this presentations we went to some of the sites to gather information along transcect lines. Three of us interns went along to see how this how this process is done.
Week 1 was a very tiring yet vital part of getting to know the area and what it has to offer. The first part of the day was taken up doing all our activities regarding the REU such as going to the huckleberry sites, learning the ins and outs of some of the programs we will be using, video conferences with our partner sites in Minnesota so we are on the same page, and the big one of course…learning to use bearspray!
We get a little bit of break to see what else is around in the valley and it is amazing. There was the Kerr Dam. Well it isn’t called that anymore but I didn’t catch the name as it is in the tribal language, Bull Island on Flathead Lake, the Bison Range and McDonald Lake.
Wow. getting together all the different passwords and the correct emails to access what I needed to access has been a bit of a pain but guess what?? I did it!!! I think. lol well we shall see.
I am enjoying my time here so far in Pablo, MT. We have been up and down the Mission mountains looking at the huckleberry sites we will be using in our research. My legs are sore. Coming from a flat land to trucking up and down some of these places has them working hard. The sheer beauty of the places we go to is really, truly amazing.