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360 Image Tests

Here are a few test embeds with out new 360° camera.  Enjoy and please comment if you have viewing issues, noting how you are trying to view these images.

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Better Estimates?

Posted from Address not found.

Estimating tree heights is an inexact Science when does with the speed we do them. Add in the challenges of often only getting poor views of the canopy from our given vantage points and we are left with some clear error in our estimates of tree heights when the trees in question are more than 3 or 4m tall.

Drones to the Rescue?

It was with this concern in mind that we ran a trial for one day this trip. We independently visually estimated tree heights, then flew up one of our drones into the air adjacent to the tree in question.We will have a more detailed post later, but our first pass is looking interesting.

No Consistent Bias

So far it looks like we don’t over- or under-estimate trees consistently. Rather the shape of the particular tree and/or the surrounding canopy are much more confounding issues when one seeks to estimate the height of a given tree top.

Now Playing: “When You Get Back” – Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Posted from Ventura, California, United States.

I still feel New Orleans in me with a weight similar to a very full belly, a heavy presence that leaves me wondering if it might be embedded in my belly forever. At no other point in my life have 10 days gone by so quickly. Never before have I felt so fulfilled from an amount of work that felt so small, in context. There is a part of me that is New Orleans, an itch I can’t ignore, but can’t yet scratch. I find myself wishing I’d brought more home. The voodoo doll from the French Quarter, cajun seasoning and sliced garlic from the cooking school (the vanilla bean extract was confiscated at the airport), bottle-cap framed ouija board from Dr. Bob’s, the “past cards” I’ll be sending away to parents and grandparents, the 3 CDs I acquired from musicians that inspired us all, the magnets on my fridge, the mud on the bottom of my suitcase, the crumpled up boarding pass in the front pocket of my backpack… I can put all these things in a pile in the living room but I can’t bring New Orleans home with me, at least not physically. I mean it honestly, though, when I say it’s a part of me forever.

New Orleans made me want to be a better musician. It made me want to forget the stupid little day-to-day things and focus on the important stuff. It made the “hard work” at home seem insignificant. I wanted to stay for a year and keep working, keep asking the locals to tell me their stories, keep learning about the history. I wanted to contribute. I learned things about gardening that I convinced myself I would re-create at home. I learned more about a history of a town with more stories than I could probably ever hear in one lifetime.

 

I did things I never thought I’d be able to do in less time than I would have ever imagined, like, for instance, when I was able to identify tree species by day 2, or hack through 100 meters of blackberry in an hour and a half. I got a taste of what strength really looks and feels like, and it was gone too fast. Does anyone know of any place around Ventura County where you can chop wood or hack at something with a machete, for recreation? Does anyone have anything invasive they need help tearing down? You have my number.

 

Invasive Growth

Posted from Camarillo, California, United States.

Most of our students are recovering from this year’s trip by catching up on their other classes and their sleep.  We are still in the midst of entering all the vegetation data we collected this year, but some of it has been fully entered.  Chief among these are data from our individual tree growth study.

Tree 18 (tallow, Triadica sebifera, tag 1518) from our tree growth study on Trail C at Woodlands on March 26, 2107. We spray paint all our monitored trees green to make sure our managers don’t accidentally kill these particular invading individuals during their routine management efforts.

Monitoring Invaders Individual Growth

For the past several years, we have been trying to get a better handle on the exact growth rates of our invaders.  Doing so will allow us to better estimate how quickly a stand of unimpeded invaders might get to their “mature” canopy height.  While we sacrificed about one-third of our monitored individuals this past year to more precisely estimate standing biomass and correlate growth annual growth rings to allometric measures (DBH, height, etc.), we still have more than 60% of our individuals living and growing along Woodlands Trail’s Trail C.

Below are our most updated estimates of actual growth rates:

Diameter at Breast Height (1.5m above the ground)

Height of the Tree Apex

Our DBH measurements are the best estimate of growth given the fact we can consistently measure it easily and accurately.  While our estimates of height are good, many of these individuals are now more than 7 or 8 meters tall.  As such, accurately measuring the very top of these taller trees is difficult and introduces error into our numbers in recent years.  This may well explain the relative decrease in growth in height from this year’s measurements (the “2016” is the change between March 2016 to March 2017).

Note: some iPhones are having problems rendering our graphs.  As such, here they are in stagnant (non-html) image formats:

 

Taking on a different trail

Posted from Address not found.

We started the day bright and early with a trip across the Mississippi River  to cut across traffic.

Good morning from Louisiana! 

Instead of going to our usual site on trail B, my group got drafted to do a set of 3 new transects down trail A. We had 4.5 hours to complete this task, and amazingly we did it! All with 20 minutes to spare. I think the lack of humidity and lower temperatures really helped with our energy levels. None of us felt tired throughout transecting, despite hacking through meters of black berry.

Sideways again. Curse you WordPress!

We were all feeling rejuvenated on our way over to the bed and breakfast! We even were able to take a few low key roadkill surveys for Sean along the way. Once we got to Plaquemines Parish, we sadly found out that the boat we were going to ride was broken. Hopefully they get it fixed in the morning!

Currently we are all staying here on this bed and breakfast plantation. This place is straight on the label of Southern Comfort! It’s lovely here but also eerie. They’ve provided us with a delicious crawfish boil and some jambalaya! Even more, we got to witness some gators in action.

Property gators!

Just feeding the neighbors, no biggie

This plantation look familiar?

Delicious crawfish. Smelled very swampy, but tasted subtle and buttery.

We are all currently entering data in the spirits church area. It will most likely be a long night…

From the woodlands to the city

Posted from Austin, Texas, United States.

Like most days, today was all over the place! We started off in the field first thing in the morning. Most teams finished up yesterday’s transects, and by 12:00 pm we all decided to join forces and power through a full 100 meters. We called ourselves Hayden and the machete girls. We had two ladies carving the path of blackberry and box elder, and groups of three recording the first, second, third, and fourth 20 meters. It was a hard trail, but we finished just in time!

If you turn your head, here’s a field selfie!

By 1:30pm we were in the French quarter, ready to meet Daphne at the historical New Orleans museum. We watched a 30 minute documentary on the geomorphology of NOLA pre-hurricane. Because we were crunched for time, we only had around 20 minutes to explore the museums historical exhibits.

Check out this dude. Sleepy in the 1700s

Afterwards we were joined by Harry Schearer who discussed the politics of the levee failures in depth. He had a very smooth voice!

it was interesting to hear about not only the structural failures but also the socio-political ones as well. We had one more talk after Harry, with Mark S. (Full name in another post.. Too long to remember right now!) of NOLA.com. He talked to us about history of his newspaper business, as well as all of the failures of the Louisiana Storm Protection Master Plan. All the details are listed in Katie and I’s other post!

We got to listen to Mark in fancy business chairs!

We finished off our night at the Waffle House after a failed dinner attempt at Chickie Wah Wah. It had to be the best decision we’ve made so far. Our waitress was named Keedy and she was the sweetest. They were all so sweet! And the food was amazing. Good night y’all!