Thursday, January 15, 2015

Planning our 2015 field season

Now starts the daunting (and mostly exciting) task of planning our upcoming summer field season.  It's hard to stay focused on something so distant in the future, but May is going to creep up and pounce on us if we don't start the process.   The crux of the matter is scheduling our tasks so that (a) major events do not overlap, and (b) we have enough team members on the ground at any given point to pull off our research. There's no doubt that things will NOT go exactly as planned, but at least we'll be organized!

Hoodie's graphic to help us 'visualize' the timing of things.

Planning our new set of heat exchangers will occupy our thoughts this spring. We're lucky to have Philip Johnson with us (our engineering faculty member at U of Alabama), and he has already designed the new expanded HEX system. We will essentially be doubling our experimental channel system, and this requires twice the HEX capacity with some clever new stainless coils planned for the super-hot pot. We are all steeped in physics envy as Phillip shows us calculations that actually predict a real outcome. . . . .woh.  Check out this photo from one of our recent papers:  HERE

In 2015, we will not be adding nutrients to streams across the landscape, but we will need to enrich half of our experimental channels. This means more planning with respect to which multi-channel pumps to use, what nutrient concentration to target, and how to make everything run smoothly so we can just kick back and let the Science and Nature papers roll in. . .  :)  :)

More soon. . . . .