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A day for the flora


Alex Rendoulis

A big day of working with plants before our community day.

It’s been a long day so I’m going to keep today’s blog nice and short. After getting back late last night it was another early rise, and honestly, this morning it was a struggle getting out of bed - I’m appreciating more how hard these scientists work. Each day has been busy, every outing full of new experiences, and whilst it’s fantastic learning it also does take a lot of energy.

Don’t worry though, I got up and once breakfast was done I was back out on the road. This time with the TERN team - Australia’s Land Ecosystem Observatory! They’re the guys I helped out yesterday and today I was spending a full day learning about surveying land. Emrys and Kirraly took me through the steps again and so first thing was for me to mark out our 100mx100m square with the GPS and pegs. With the practice from yesterday it was much easier to complete today. Once the pegs have been marked out you then go through and put five 100m lengths of tape running North-South and another five running East-West. After all the prep is done we can start our transect survey, which requires someone to walk down each line on tape (all 10 of them) and at every 1m mark make comment about the soil type, whether any flora species is on that spot, and if so the height of the species. Whist this is happening (because it takes a lot of time) another team member is then taking one sample of every single species in the 100m x 100m square so that we can preserve them for DNA later.

This process took up most of our day and energy, so there wasn’t any time to head out again for another exploration. I did find out though that our traps from the last two days finally caught a Pygmy Possum - a significant find for this area.

Tomorrow is community day, and we have 25 students visiting the scientists to see and learn about some interesting finds that have been made this week. They’re going to be so excited when they see some of these things.