Monday morning and time to get ready. Breakfast for 16 is on the stove and our first of several visitors has arrived and headed straight for the coffee pot. Steve Fitzgerald (Fitz) has joined us for the week. Steve is on the Faculty and is also the extension forester for the East Side. We are pretty lucky to have him with us this week and he has some great things in store for us. About 30 minutes behind Steve, Jeff Hatten and his Grad student Adian have arrived for a day visit and talk on forest soils on the East Side. Steve gave a everyone a fireside briefing and introduction to the East Side and it’s time to load up and head down the road.
First stop is Steve and field introduction to forest and understory vegetation on the East Side. Lot of new conifer and understory vegetation to learn. For most of the students, this is the first time away from the West Side forests
Jeff and Adrian and soils work. After a brief safety meeting, we are off to dig soil pits. Jeff gives us all a brief overview on soils for those who forgot their basic soils verbiage and then a discussion on the volcanic influence to the soils on the East Side. Time to pick up shovels and dig
Students are trying to get down deep enough to find the layers of ash from the Mazama eruption. Hmmmm it seems we have several other layers of ash from some more recent eruptions of just a few thousand years back. Very interesting to see a basic history map unfold in the soil layers
Great day of soils work and a big thanks to Jeff and Adrian as we bid them goodbye in the late afternoon and head down the road to a quick visit and discussion with Fitz on fire history in the area and the influence of fire as a management tool on the East Side.
Since we are close by we head over over for a quick visit to the head of the Metolius River, gorgeous setting and we have a brief talk on the origin of the river and it’s sudden appearance from underground at the headwaters. Wow, we haven’t done a group shot yet. Good looking group!
Almost forgot, we have to get back because one group still has work to do. The students have been divided into 4 groups and each group will be making dinner one night for the whole team. Jessie and his group are up first and the menu is barbecue steak and grilled asparagus with mushrooms!