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> Monday, June 19th, 2006, Arctic Flowers
post Jun 21 2006, 12:34 AM
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On Monday, June 19th, we started our day in the field setting up our last plots for two different experiments – soil core sampling and litter bags (decomposition study). We spent the entire morning measuring and pounding wooden stakes into the tundra (which is quite challenging since permafrost is close to the surface). The picture below shows Syndonia Bret-Harte (biologist from the University of Alaska) measuring a plot. The following picture shows Syndonia taking notes in her journal. Scientists take copious notes in waterproof journals (it has rained each day of my journey in short intervals). I heard terms today that I had not heard since my high school Geometry class such as Pythagorean's Theorem, apex, and hypotenuse.
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In the afternoon, I ventured from the camp on my personal quest to find Arctic flowers. I found four different varieties –Geum glaciale, Rhododendron lapponicum, Cassiope tetatragona, and Dryas octapetala. The first word is the genus which is always capitalized and the second word is the species which is never capitalized. The pictures and names are listed below.
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Dryas octapetala

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Rhododendron lapponicum

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Geum glaciale

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Cassiope tetatragona

It was another great day of exploration in the Arctic Circle!

Cool facts about Alaska:

There are more than three million lakes in Alaska.

The Big Dipper constellation on the Alaskan flag symbolizes strength.

The largest star on the Alaskan flag is the North Star to signify Alaska's northern location.

A thirteen year old named Benny Benson designed Alaska's flag.
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