I am interested in how soil carbon varies across the landscape, a line of investigation that lends itself to a LOT of hiking. Sure enough, in the past 3 weeks Courtney and I have been adding plenty of miles to our hiking boots. We spent our first field stint simply scoping out potential sampling sites. I had a list of criteria that made for a good site – I wanted areas with a variety of vegetation types that are not, you know, too back breaking to get to. We started out by hiking off the main road, up tundra hummock stairways, over ridge lines, through grassy valleys and across rocky streams.
Some of the vistas along the way were pretty breath taking.
I used a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) to locate some of the more remote sites and to mark all of the potential sites so that we could find them again if we choose to use them.
And finally, after many long days, I have nine study sites and two sizeable blisters to show for it all.