Experiments Underway

Both of my rhizotron experiments have now been launched. The past few days have been busy with that and various research-related projects. This morning I collected predawn needle water content data for my rhizotron firs [1].

After teaching a couple of labs I tackled weighing soil cores from my soil remediation site. When I collected the cores earlier this month the soil was wet. I weighed them then, then left them sit a bit before packing them in paper bags and drying them in an oven.

I dry my soil cores in Chipotle bags.

In the time before the samples were dried molds grew on some of the cardboard carrying cases. When I opened them up today I was met with a cloud of spores. I have never had allergy problems, but these spores caused my sinuses to rebel for the rest of the day. Next time I’ll dry my samples promptly. And open the bags more carefully.

Weighing a soil core.

Now I have rows of data that shows me how much water was in the soil and what the soil bulk density of the soil is.

The soil is translated into lead (or graphite).

After weighing the soil cores I washed the materials and weighed all the metal rings in preparation for the next collection. Then I stopped by my flooded rhizotrons to see how they were doing.

The flooded and non-flooded rhizotrons.

So far so good. I’m curious how things will progress.

After a busy morning and afternoon this evening was nice and relaxing, which was a welcome change of pace.

[1] I’ll be collecting needles like this once a week for the next couple of months. Predawn data is not fun to collect. It involves working in the predawn. A time meant for sleeping.

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