Deauna and Jeremy are studying the impacts of human foot traffic on soil water and therefore the organisms that live in the soil. There has been increasing tourism in this area, which means more hikers and more traffic on trails (and new trails being created by people going off-trail). All of those human feet can compress soil and squeeze out the air spaces, which can make it harder for the soil to let water in, provide habitat for organisms, and support plant life. Even after the foot traffic goes away, the soil will not immediately recover. Jeremy and Deauna are comparing high, medium, and low traffic areas to see how much damage is too much damage.
|Jeremy puts our make-shift "infiltrometer" into a medium-traffic path to test how quickly water trickles into the soil. Deauna is ready to run the timer and record the data.|
|Jeremy hammering his textiles on the left, and some in-the-works plant smashing on the right.|
|Jose and Xavier use tape to collect pollen off of their test clothing.|
|Jose and Xavier viewing their pollen from mock crime scene underwear.|
More CO2 produced from respiration means more active microbes.
|Ana collecting a gas sample from one of her sample vials, next to their home-made greenhouse.|
|You can juuust make out the tiny Kristian in the lower right, collecting sound clips from the base of the waterfall at Leenanlampi last week.|
I'll tell you about the other projects another day, because the weather has been beautiful and now I'd like to go outside and enjoy some sunshine!