Drs. Chad Hanson and Dominick DellaSala are looking for field work assistance for an upcoming survey taking place in the Rim fire burn. The survey will be taking place in late August or early September of this year and all surveyors will work in teams of two.
Surveying will involve hiking cross-country through uneven terrain of varying degrees of steepness for approximately 8 hours per day. Surveyors will need to be fit, and will need to bring basic essentials, including hiking boots, hat, sunblock, food and water each day.
Post-fire natural conifer regeneration surveys will be conducted in the 10 largest high-severity fire patches in montane conifer forest predominantly or entirely on USFS lands in the Rim fire burn, Stanislaus National Forest, western/central Sierra Nevada, using the standard high-severity fire threshold (Miller and Thode 2007).
From the nearest access point, surveys will be conducted in plots along transects through the center of the patches, with plots spaced by 200 m. All plots will be 0.02 ha in size, and square, with corners facing in the four cardinal directions. All distances will be determined with a laser hypsometer. For the five largest high-severity fire patches, three transects will be conducted—one in northern portion, one in central portion, and one in southern portion.
In each plot, surveyors will: 1) mark the center point and corners with colored flags on steel posts; 2) record GPS coordinates of the center point; 3) record the species, diameter at breast height (dbh), and live/dead status of each pre-fire tree >30 cm dbh; 4) record the distance of the three nearest live trees to the plot’s center point, and the species of each of these trees; 5) record the plot’s aspect and slope; 6) record the number of conifer seedlings of each species in the plot; 7) record the height (cm) and species of the five tallest conifer seedlings in the plot; 8 ) record the number of oak seedlings and oak sprouts from the base of trees for which the above-ground portion was killed; and 9) record ground cover (both live foliage and twigs/needles).
The final product will be a manuscript coauthored by Drs. Chad Hanson and Dominick DellaSala with authorships offered to students working on the project. They are also seeking modest travel support to cover expenses in the field for about a week of work.
You can read DellaSala’s rainforest blog here and if you are interested in this project please contact Dominick A. DellaSala by email.