Back to the field!

It was a wetter year in California than last year but by no means has it been the large El Nino event everyone was projecting. Although I was predicting a later and longer growing season than last year, some warm weather popped up in February and started the bloom earlier than anticipated.

Thus I quickly rushed out to the field to begin my field season much earlier than expected.

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(I tweeted this picture and it received a great deal of attention!)

luckily I caught flowering in time and my experiment worked out well, so now I can just enjoy the flowers

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tweets away!

I started tweeting for the @YorkUScientists account yesterday and it has been a pretty cool experience already.  The account has a very large audience and my tweets are seen by, and engaged with, by numerous people, neat!

It is a bit of work though continuously posting content. We will see how this pans out for the rest of the week

If you haven’t checked the account be sure to follow @YorkUScientists and my personal twitter account @aliczner

Ontario Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution Colloquium!

The Ontario Ecology, Ethology and Evolution Colloquium (OE3C) 2015 is taking place at York University this year and is coming up in less than a month! The conference is running from May 13-15, 2015.

Check out the website for the conference here: http://www.oe3c.org/

Updates and information are posted frequently. You can also like their facebook page and follow @OE3c_2015 on twitter to get more information

The hashtag for the conference is #OE3C2015

It’s not too late to register to attend! should be a great event

#Fieldstories: Brome, Bags, and Bullets

My research site is on public land, and is heavily invaded by brome sp. grasses.

This means that
1) my socks/boots/shoes/feet get DESTROYED when brome is seeding. which is now.
2) people target shoot at my sites

red brome The dominant non-native brome species is red brome (Bromus madritensis sp.  rubens) and these seeds are painfully sharp and love to bury their way into  socks/shoes/boots and stab at your feet while you try and survey.

My first solution was to just stop and pick out the little daggers but that is time  consuming and I have work to do

So, I needed to come up with another solution…

DSC00027DSC00025Bags on my feet! You might say it is an  interesting take on the #breadbag Senator Joni  Ernst was talking about earlier this year. Poor  graduate students cannot afford to replace  hiking boots when they get destroyed by  invasive grasses at their study sites so we  covered our hiking boots in bags to protect  them (and their feet)! It worked well, except for hills… no traction!

Also target shooting seemed to be a popular activity this weekend which is great for them but bad for me when they are shooting where I need to set up transects! This makes for interesting experimental setups as I move about the site avoiding lines of fire and trying to record areas that I will have to survey at another time due to occupation by target shooters. The season closes in a few days so it should be quieter and less dangerous soon.