1. (Jackie) Why would you pull out the seedlings and saplings... Don't you want them to grow?
The reason scientists pull seedlings out is because they are able to do further testing the lab by evaluating their roots, stems, and “leaves.” We will be completing a “whirl count” in order to age the saplings and seedlings because you can not age a tree that is as small as these because there is not a trunk large enough to do a tree coring on. Therefore scientists have to pull the plants out to different testing procedures.
2. (Mike) How do you identify the seedlings/saplings?
We use dichotomous keys to key out the plants. The process is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
3. (Isamar) What kind of information have you found in the tree boring?
We have not yet determined any conclusions based on the tree boring. These conclusions will not be able to be made until there are multiple years worth of cores to compare against one another. We will however, be starting the tree boring evaluation process later next week which could tell some information specific to individual tree growth rather then mean conclusions.
4. (Austin) Is Chandler removing the branch from the tree in the most effective and scientifically proven way... Or just posing?
As crazy as the picture looks, this was not a posed picture. Chandler was trying to kick off a dead limb so that we had ample work room to take a chest height core. We were struggling trying to remove the dead limb with other means until another group member asked Chandler to try and kick the limb off since he was the tallest in the group. He was actually successful in his attempts.
5. (Kelsey) Do you get sore getting up and down between each and every tree all day?
I do get sore. My legs are exhausted and I have several bruises on my body from moving underneath the trees.
6. (Jack) Has anyone gotten hurt yet or is everyone uninjured?
No one in my group has gotten hurt. Several people are just as exhausted as I am, but all of us are healthy and enjoying the fieldwork.
7. (Steph) Is anyone getting sick from being in the cold rain all day?
Well everyone has been relatively healthy despite some body soreness, but the Scientist, Steve is not feeling too well this evening. The cold, wet rainy weather has gotten the best of him tonight.
8. (Mrs. Gibson) What do you do with the tree boring samples after they are taken from the tree? Can you bring
one back for us to see?
The tree boring samples (also referred to as tree cores) get placed into wooden drying racks and labeled to dry. After the cores are dry, they will be sanded and then evaluated buy the scientist. He is attempting to fill in gaps in the climatology record for the past two centuries in the Churchill region. Filling in the climate record would help scientists draw further conclusions about climate change in this area and then they could infer about changes in other similar regions of the world.
Unfortunately I will not be able to bring a sample back through customs, however, I do have intentions of purchasing a tree boring apparatus to use with students in biology this year. If students take a few cores from trees on the school yard property it will certainly help students better understand ring structures and tree piths. Better yet it would be a great field skill for them to acquire!
(These questions are from the Science Academy Research Science class at Morristown high school 2008)