Yesterday, we began the fieldwork portion of the Study Abroad program. This fieldwork not only gives us hands-on experience to teach us about the vegetation that make up a savanna, but it also collects data for the ongoing scientific research projects in the area on savanna ecosystem functioning. We have been learning to identify tree and shrub species, how to measure the structure of the plants in three dimensions, and how to take measurements of the ground and canopy cover. We have also discussed research and sampling design to understand the best practices for scientific studies like this one. Stay tuned for more posts -- student introductions are coming up next!
Hard at work on the first plot.
Elizabeth, Ke, Jakki, and Ryan measuring a small shrub on the plot.
Janna, Ryan, Katie, Ke, and Chad collecting data on ground cover.