Sunday, November 9, 2014

We're back!

Well folks. . . . it's been a while. and we've got some big news to report!  We just received additional funding from the National Science Foundation to continue our research in Iceland. This will give us the opportunity to explore the interaction between climate warming (the primary focus of our last grant) and nutrient enrichment in river ecosystems.

The upper valley. . . 

Alex Huryn, Jim Hood, Wyatt Cross, and Jill Welter soaking it in.

The heat exchanger in stream 7 (our whole-ecosystem warming experiment) needed some repair, and we spent part of a day cleaning, retooling, and stabilizing.  Still working like a charm (knock on wood!).  
Alex working on the heat exchanger.  Jim and Wyatt holding strong on peanut gallery duties.
Day one. . just off the flight from Denver. . tired and full of ideas!

Looking down towards the future location of our 'next-generation' experimental channels
Both Jill and Jim gave seminars at the IFF, and we spent some quality time catching up with folks and planning for next summer.  Can't wait to get started in May. . .  . stay tuned for additional posts!. .  we'll try to keep this site a bit more active now!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland

The team recently convened in Portland for some good ole-fashioned science fun.  Just look at that enthusiasm in the back seat!!

But, seriously, we had a great time interacting with friends and colleagues, and enjoying all the good stuff Portland has to offer. And the best part - Iceland talks were scattered throughout the entire meeting!  

One highlight of the trip was biking to and from the meeting. This helped wake us up after long evenings of collegial activities!

BUT, it didn't always work. . . shall we say Benstead was 'over-scienced' on the last day?

All in all, a great week!!  So fun to be energized by an amazing group of friends and colleagues. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A productive visit!

The Montana crew was recently graced by the presence of our friend and colleague, Dr. Jill Welter from St. Catherine University (see her team's blog: here). We're collaborating on an exciting paper about nitrogen fixation in the Hengill experimental streams.

The upshot: we found that nitrogen fixation 'amplifies' gross primary production in these streams. The idea is that nitrogen fixers (such as cyanobacteria - see This Post) bring in a 'new' source of nitrogen to the ecosystem by changing dissolved nitrogen gas (N2) into a form that can be used for growth. Because these streams are so nitrogen-limited, this new source of nitrogen fuels a much higher level of primary production that we would expect in the absence of nitrogen fixers. This general idea has been developed by others in terrestrial ecosystems (see: Interesting paper in PNAS), but our work is among the first to test this idea experimentally in a highly controlled fashion.

We're closing in on the final draft!

Group writing. . . .a new experience.

Go Bobcats. . .
Fluffy white goodness to clear the mind

This Post