|Rock covered in algae - all of which will be scraped off. |
Then, the rock can be traced.
Recently I have taken on the task of calculating the surface area of rocks that we pulled from the stream in January. When we were in Iceland, we took rocks from the stream, measured nitrogen fixation rates, and then scraped the algae off into a container and took the algae back to the lab. Later on, we would need to know the surface area that the algae inhabited on the rocks, but we didn’t want to carry around the rocks until we needed that information. To make our load a little lighter, we traced the rocks on waterproof paper and then labeled each side of the rock to help us know which sides were covered with the algae. This is like many of the first steps we take when dealing with field samples- transport. How do we get algae, rocks and water samples back home to our lab? Tasks like tracing rocks may seem arbitrary at the time, but it really simplifies our job down the road.
|A photocopy of a rock tracing - with all sides - that was|
traced in the field on January 15th, 2014.
|Image J program - it is simply a tool bar on my desktop|
and I open the rock files as photo images and trace them
with tools from this tool bar.