I'm excited for my first trip to the field tomorrow! We're leaving for the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Rough Meadows Sanctuary in Rowley, Massachusetts at 8 in the morning. It's going to be very hot (high 90's), so I'll be bringing a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. I got a 3 quart container of water at CVS because Hollie recommended that everyone bring a minimum of 2 liters of water to stay hydrated. We're going to be gone all day measuring greenhouse gas fluxes from different species of marsh plants, in addition to other environmental parameters such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, and light.
To prepare for our trip I flushed exetainers (glass vials used to collect gas samples) with helium gas to avoid contamination. Helium is used because it is a noble gas and is very stable, so it won't react with the gas in samples and skew data. After flushing the exetainers with helium, I evacuated them with a needle and syringe to remove the air inside in preparation for sample collection tomorrow. We will be collecting samples for greenhouse gases – CO2, N2O, and CH4.