Team Fire has spent the last five weeks collecting soil and water samples from burned and unburned Ponderosa watersheds. At the start of June we were joined by Brian Buma (thank you NOVUS Scientist Exchange Grant) who taught us how to quantify fuel loads, above ground biomass, etc. You can read more about Brian’s time in CO by going to the NOVUS blog post about our visit.
Field work ranges from vegetation plots, soil sampling, measuring discharge, collecting macroinvertebrates and water samples. Some of our sites are VERY disturbed (see center top photo below of Sand Creek, draining the Waldo Canyon burn), others are recovering slowly (bottom left: hiking towards the Wigwam sampling site in the Hayman burn), while our control sites have mature Ponderosas, lots of prairie dogs, hawks, etc.
Team Fire has also spent more than their fair share of time picking charcoal out of soil samples, sieving soil, grinding soil, extracting soil as well as filtering, measuring alkalinity, DOC and N constituents. We also have a refrigerator full of soil incubation experiments… Kyra spends a lot of her time these days in front of the GC.