Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finally!

Finally, the weather today was good enough to get to the Bonney Riegel and take the measurements I'd been trying to make since Friday!

I was taking CO2 flux measurements on the plots to which we had added the nutrient treatments last week. The CO2 flux measures how much the organisms are respiring in response to the fertilization. To do this, I use a piece of machinery called a LI-COR CO2 analyzer. Here's a quick clip of me using the machinery on one of the plots:
video
I place the sample chamber on the PVC ring that marks where I want to measure CO2. I use a Palm Pilot to tell the machine to start the measurement and which sample I'm measuring. I hit "start" and the machine automatically starts taking the measurement! All with the help of my trusty "Green Brain".

And that marks the end of my season! Today was my last trip to the dry valleys. I transport very early tomorrow morning (2:15 AM) to Pegasus Runway to catch my flight back to New Zealand. Goodbye Dry Valleys! Goodbye McMurdo!