Monday, July 16, 2012

Jonathan to the Rescue

We have been fortunate to have a post-doctorate research associate, Victoria, conducting her research in Barrow this summer. She is working with Rich Norby and the vegetation dynamics team to characterize plant community composition across the low- and high-centered polygons at our field site. She is also pursuing interests in root depth and distribution for the many plant species that occur across the tundra.

While Victoria has been making great progress in her work, it is always useful to have someone to help. Joining me on this trip to Barrow is Jonathan Brooks who will be working with Victoria for the next several weeks. Jonathan comes to ORNL as a post-graduate intern through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). This is a great program that places graduates at ORNL for periods up to one year, during which time participants gain experience in research related to their field of study. Jonathan graduated with a degree in biology from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He has been working on a variety of projects at ORNL and is now off to Alaska. Colleen Iversen is his mentor during his ORISE internship.

Jonathan will be helping Victoria these next two weeks with plot inventories. Because our safety procedures require that at least two people work at our field site at a time (i.e., the buddy system), Victoria and Jonathan should be able to spend significant time in the field each day recording data on plant community composition. This will be a great help to Victoria and, in return, Jonathan will get an excellent opportunity to learn about plant and community ecology on the North Slope of Alaska.

We'll check in with Jonathan and Victoria later in the week.