I came here for hydrology and all I got was this lousy soil knife

The Trailblazers, led by hydrologist extraordinaire Kirstin, have had an eventful few days on Mt. Lemmon, marked by some of the sootiest soot, coldest snow, and dirtiest soil ever to have been encountered by an inquiry group in the storied history of the Sky School. We began our investigations into soil carbon levels on Thursday by bushwacking up a recently scorched Summerhaven slope. Among the ashes of the recent Carter Canyon fire, we endured treacherous slopes and horrible atmospheric conditions to collect data on the depth of the soil organic layer.

2015-04-23 13.45.47

Trailblazers site our first soil profiles at the Carter Canyon site

Steep slopes, excellent folks

Steep slopes, excellent folks

2015-04-23 14.04.00

Sooty knee problems

2015-04-23 15.40.01

Digging deep to find the clay layer

Friday morning, our sojourn to collect the game camera was interrupted by a stampede of wild beasts. Standing two and half feet tall, with fearsome talons and an armor of feathers, the mere appearance of these three creatures could scare even the most foolhardy of graduate students. Thankfully, we Trailblazers were familiar with the wild turkeys from our last Thanksgiving dinner, and were not afraid.

Snowy times in the forest

Snowy times in the forest

Keeping warm on log

Keeping warm on log

Afterward, our data collection efforts led us into a vicious snowstorm, with visibility limited to mere hundreds of feet. True to our name, we Trailblazers struggled against the accumulating snow as we dug the deepest soil profiles of our inquiry thus far. All this strife was not for naught, as we have just finished preparing our presentation for the hallowed 3rd Annual Flowing Wells High School Sky School Symposium.

Out in a blaze of glory, we are:

The Trailblazers

The Trailblazers

The Trailblazers