Stipa tag found

Tag #1028 was just found in the ground near the SW corner of Hjelm house porch.

Draft 2010 Stipa protocols

2010 Stipa Draft Protocol.pdf. The Google Docs wasn’t really working out… Comment with your thoughts and changes.

Stipa sticking spree!

Having stickered and scanned all of the collected Stipa seed (great job Ian, Hillary, and Lauren!) we’ve gone through and stuck them all into their foamy rows. 1700ish seeds later, we’re ready to plant out in the common garden! Here’s a few pictures:



The awns! They move!

Check it out on youtube. It’s even available in full HD!

I’m actually just linking this because this blog isn’t wide enough to fit the whole movie.

Time-lapse time

So I think I have my basic setup for the time-lapse photography for checking out those stipa awns. Using one of Greg’s aquariums, a camera, tripod, computer and such. I’ll be able to change the humidity soon enough and really start the experiment.

Some of the stipa, just as a test

And here’s my setup. Off to the left of the aquarium is the 500W halogen light. The seeds and black felt are inside the aquarium. In front of that is the camera with a blind on the front to help knock down some glare from the front glass. Attached is the computer, which is what I’m using to control the time-lapse.

ArcGIS: conquered!

View image

So these are the Stipa that have been collected so far. I’ve labeled a couple of the places on the map.

I was having trouble projecting the data exported from GPS Pathfinder Office (trimble) and noticed that no coordinate system was defined (same issue with the DOQ maps Stuart gave me; the GeoTIFFs didn’t have a spatial definition). The GPS data should be North American 1983 in the Geographic Coordinate System folder (right click on the data in ArcCatalog, hit the XY Coordinate System tab and hit the Select button). The DOQ maps ought to be using the NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_15N from the Projected Coordinate System folder. Dumping all of these files into ArcMap (and a little fiddling) gave me this nice map.

Next plan of attack is to make it work in GPS Pathfinder Office, as it’s much less complicated than ArcGIS.

Measuring Stipa in the Common Garden

Here’s a picture of a Stipa seedling in the Common Garden. I’m about to create a form for entering data on our seedlings. We are debating if we should count and measure each leaf or count leaves and measure the length of just the longest leaf. Most of our time will be spent finding the plants and/or the toothpicks that we put in to mark them. So, taking the measurements of each leaf shouldn’t add that much time. Any thoughts?

Stuart and I did an initial investigation of about 30 locations where Stipa was planted. We found plants at 40-50% of the locations! Caroline, what was your estimate for germination of these seeds?


Hesperostipa spartea collection protocol

Josh, Gretel, Hillary, and Ian are also trained on the TopScan to collect the GPS data. The ideal is that the radio signal is at 100% and the designation of the location is described as Fixed – (Float will do and Auto works if you are unable to connect to a radio signal)
Josh and I plan to collect from Hegg Lake and the road adjacent on Monday. In the quest to collect from 300 parent plants, we are likely onto roadsides – where we are trying to stay at least a meter off the road and using plants about 5m apart from each other. Generally, as the black color appears and as the capsule opens around the pointy head, the seeds are ripe and will pop off as you gently pull up the stem containing the seeds.
I plan to be around Sun afternoon and Mon. to finish the collection before starting to cross some plants.

Stipa update

Stipa collection is going pretty well, aside from the Topcon being flaky and not connecting to the data network for improved accuracy (it should be good enough for refinding tags along with the metal detector). We’ve collected from 85 out of the desired 300 so far, with different averages of seeds collected depending on the site. Landfill and Staffenson both had rather high averages, somewhere around 9 or 10 (no math here, just guessing based on what I was entering in the data fields) while some of the scattered remnants were closer to 5 or 6.

As for today, I’ll be out with someone to go search at other sites, hopefully, but the weather is looking a bit questionable today. We’ll see!

Terrasync: Trials and Tribulations

This afternoon I spent some time with Terrasync, getting a data dictionary together for Hesperostipa seed collection. What does this mean?

This means I can take the GPS out, throw down a tag, collect some seed, then, while taking GPS points, put the various bits of information about the seed that I want directly into the Trimble. Geospatially referenced data with little effort!

Making sure that the GPS Pathfinder Office’s transfer utility is pointed at the right device (GPS Logger on Windows CE, in this case), you click “Send”, “Add” a data dictionary and browse to the file and Transfer All. You did create your data dictionary, right? No?

Well, take a step back and click on Data Dictionary Editor in the Utilities menu. From here, it’s pretty straightforward to create your very own data dictionary. Add the Features you want (features being the kinds of points you want. I added one for Stipa individual). From there, you add Attributes. These are the fields you want to take data on: whatever would be on your paper data sheet. Annoyingly, text fields are limited to a mere 100 characters, so keep that in mind for your comments fields (always have one; you never know!). Useful ones for me were Numeric (tip! if you want to widen the number entry field from the measly default of 2 characters wide, put some large number as your maximum value; you won’t be able to go above that, but that’s not a problem for my tag and envelope number fields. Certainly nothing will be above 1000000), Text, and Date. After getting your dictionary squared away, save it somewhere and transfer it to the Trimble.

At this point you should take the new data dictionary for a test run. Restart the Terrasync software on the Trimble and start anew. Create a new file and start taking a point. See if the dictionary suits your needs. If not, go back, fix your dictionary and retransfer, overwriting the old one. Now you’re collecting with style!

For the collection dictionary, I selected the following fields:
Tag Number (text)
Envelope Number (text)
# Seeds Collected (numeric)
Location (text)
Notes (text)
Notes2 (text; text is limited to 100 characters which may not be quite enough)
Current Date (date; autogenerated)
Collected By (text)