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> Preparations, Beginning to think about the summer!
post May 18 2005, 06:53 PM
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TREC Teacher

Group: TREC Team
Posts: 172
Joined: 27-April 05
Member No.: 7

School is almost over at Barrow High School and Iím beginning to get more excited about going out to the Ikpikpuk River delta this summer. The Ikpikpuk River delta is about 60 miles southeast of Barrow. My TREC project involves the salt marsh habitat in this delta and the devegetation effects by snow geese.

When I look outside today, itís hard to imagine that in two short months the tundra will be free of snow and ice and filled with nesting birds. We still have a lot of snow in Barrow, the temperature is near 20 degrees F, and the ocean is still covered with ice.

Hereís a picture of the site where we will be sampling snow geese exclosures. At least, this is what it looks like this time of the year! Can you see the exclosures? Small fences sticking out of the snow?

Attached Image
(photo by Joe Liebezeit)

Here is a picture of the site in the summer, exclosures on the right, with near perfect conditions! I know that our field days may not always be this bright and sunny.

Attached Image
(photo by Brian Person)

Exclosures are areas of vegetation that are fenced off from herbivores, in this case, snow geese. I will be helping Brian Person sample inside and outside of these exclosures and measuring biomass of the above ground vegetation, soil chemistry, and species composition. This should tell us how and if the snow geese are changing the habitat.

We will also be setting up long transect lines within the delta for conducting larger vegetation surveys. That means that we will stake out lines and note the species of plants along the lines. From this data we can find out how many different species of plants are in the area, and the approximate percentage of each species. We will be able to compare vegetation in areas with snow geese present and areas without snow geese. The hope is that these transect lines will be used for years to come.

Stay tuned as preparations for the trip continue!
Our TREC will begin around July 11th.
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