I had an exciting time in the field this week! On Tuesday I went to the marsh with Hollie, Devon, Marc, and Sarabeth to collect gas flux data for the project I am working on with Hollie. We measured the greenhouse gas emissions from different marsh plants and un-vegetated areas. Devon and I worked together to collect data from the sites with Spartina plants, while the others collected data from the Phragmites plants. At each site there were two red rings in the ground, one with plants and one without. We put clear plastic chambers over the rings (gas tight) and then used syringes to extract two gas samples from each chamber every six minutes. One of us would take the gas sample while the other person kept track of the time and transferred the gas sample from the syringe into an exetainer for storage. We also recorded the amount of light, soil temperature, chamber temperature, and the final humidity in the chamber. We went through this procedure for three more sites across the marsh.
It was really hot, especially because we had to wear long sleeves and long pants to keep the bugs off. They were everywhere. Even with bug spray, I was still bitten a few times. No one fell into the tidal creeks, but Hollie did get sunburned. After we finished doing all the gas fluxes and lugging the equipment back across the marsh to the car, we stopped to get ice cream! It was a really long day because I was with the lab or in the field for almost twelve hours!