September 23, 2010


The last two weeks have been really busy with school starting plus all the extracurricular botanical fun I've been having. One of my classes is on GIS--Geographic Information System--using ArcGIS software. For those unfamiliar with GIS, Wikipedia has a good site describing the subject. Essentially it is a system that allows someone to create dynamic maps in which every shape, point, or line has tables of data associated with it. This allows one to view data in a spatial way--something essential for understanding ecological processes. It has opened up a new world for me in this way. I knew a bit about GIS before taking this class thanks to my exposure to it in high school, but I never fully grasped the potential that it offers.

For a Little Duck Island update:
I am currently in the stages of uploading my GPS--Global Positioning System--data from Little Duck Island and beginning to process it. I am also working on computerizing the data from the beat-up Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks. Finally I am almost ready to send out my soil samples for analysis. More on this soon.

Finally, here are some pics from the summer: (Click on them to see them bigger)

Waves on Little Duck Island
Great Duck Island to my left
My wonderful field assistant/imaginary friend Matt Dickinson

Collecting Fragaria virginiana!
We filled ourselves on these in June
Working on a plot on the south end of the island (note Great Duck in the distance)
Our camp sweet camp
Plant presses provided a nice reading table in our room
One of out last nights on the island (note Mount Desert Island on the horizon)


  1. Nice blog !! i also know a very good site for gis software apps.cybertech(.)com !!!

  2. Thanks cool,
    Interesting site. The tree app seemed pretty smart. It would be great to have more things like that available to people--things that can help increase people's appreciation for natural history by appealing to those who might never have otherwise picked up a field guide to go on a walk down the street.