Where we do our research...

Lab Note #3
May 13, 2014
Over the last few years, we have been to primitive areas in remote locations across the Western United States and Canada, closely examining certain groups of alpine plants across their known distributional ranges. It isn't cheap to get to these widely spaced areas (which is why we need your help!), and it certainly comes with physical hardships too (mostly in the form of heavy backpacks), but the plants (and viewsheds) are WELL WORTH IT! I want to recap (and entice you) with some pictures of the places I've been and the plants I've seen while conducting research in the field -- you'll receive MANY more updates and pictures just like these if we meet our full fundraising goal!

I guess I'm a bit embarassed to say that I've forgotten the name of this lake (above), for some reason Swan Lake is ringing a bell, but I'm fairly certain that those are the Seven Sisters Peaks north of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. I was here during the summer of 2012, in search of Pyrola picta at its northern limit with my collaborator Diana D. Jolles (twitter: @DDJolles). This was the view from one of the sites we camped at for the night while working for a few days east of Prince Rupert, before continuing north to southeast Alaska. 

Above is a picture of Lava Lake, with Alder Peak in the distance, west of Nisga'a Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. I snapped a quick shot of this beautiful scene while we were driving between field sites, looking for Pyrola picta at its northern limit in the summer of 2012 with Diana D. Jolles. Technically, we stopped the car to take this picture...

(Above) Sunrise, beautiful sunrise -- getting ready for more fieldwork in the alpine zone on the Deer Mountain Trail outside of Ketchikan, Alaska. Summer 2012. We didn't find any Pyrola picta here, but we did find loads of other plants in the heath family (Ericaceae) and also many mustards (Brassicaceae).

(Above) Sunset, beautiful sunset -- finishing a VERY long day and 3000 feet of elevation gain to our camping spot above (and southeast of) Wrangell on Wrangell Island, southeast Alaska. Summer 2012 fieldwork with Diana D. Jolles in southeast Alaska.

(Above) Sorry, another sunset as viewed from Wrangell Island, southeast Alaska -- this time we were getting ready to leave the island and continue north so we camped for the night in a city park. It was AWESOME -- I highly suggest that everyone on vacation should visit Wrangell Island if traveling through the area. This was probably the highlight for my first ever trip to southeast Alaska during the summer of 2012.

(Above) Homer Glacier, outside of Juneau, Alaska -- this was near the end of my trip in Alaska and Canada in 2012 with Diana D. Jolles -- lots of fireweed (Chamerion), relatively close to where we camped for the night (backpacking adventures through and through, of course).

(Above) Approximately 11,000 feet elevation -- alpine fellfield habitat at Sheep Mountain Pass looking north toward White Mountain in the White Mountains of Inyo County, California. This was on the front half of a long trip in the Basin and Range Province during the summer of 2013 with Dr. Ingrid Jordon-Thaden (twitter: @IThaden).

(Above) Mt. Dana, as observed from just below the rim of the Dana Plateau to the south of the peak -- that was one heck of a climb up from Tioga Pass! I think I wound up with something like ten operational taxonomic units of Boechera observed along the trail... wowza, what a day! 2013 Great Basin Botany with Dr. Ingrid Jordon-Thaden.

(Above) Mt. Rose, near Lake Tahoe, Nevada -- this was a SERIOUS day hike as well, chaulk full of ample operational taxonomic units of Boechera and some happy Draba spp. hanging out around the summit area. Long day hike, but well worth the trek to the summit. 2013 Great Basin Botany with Dr. Ingrid Jordon-Thaden.

(Above) Lamoille Lake on left, looking down a long, u-shaped glacial valley in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada. You can just barely make out the parking area where we started our backpacking expedition down at the bottom of the valley -- yet another backbreaking, multi-day trip all in the name of critical alpine biodiversity research. I wish we could have spent longer in the Ruby Mountains, it is a stunningly beautiful group of mountains. 2013 Great Basin Botany with Dr. Ingrid Jordon-Thaden.

(Above) My stomping grounds, the southernmost glaciated peak in western North America -- alpine fellfield habitat (krummholtz limber-lodgepole pine forest) atop the summit region of San Gorgonio Mountain in the San Bernardino Mountains, looking south toward the unglaciated Mt. San Jacinto of the Peninsular Ranges. What a great place to hang out -- too bad I've got to hike 4000 feet in elevation gain just to get here...

I could bore you with pictures like this all day... or you can support my research and I'll bore you with it for years to come instead!
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