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Old Tree, Tall Tree, Young Tree, Small Tree

Interviewer 1 (Int1): JH, how has your experience been on the trip so far?

JH: It was very fun. I enjoyed the hikes a lot. And probably my favorite part was playing predator/prey with everyone. But, um, I mean, the only suggestion I might have is, I don’t know, I’m thinking…ugh….oh I know! We could have hiked more at Windy Point. Um…but yeah, I enjoyed working with the group and not just making a poster on my own. Any other questions?

Int1: Yes, how is this experience different from other experiences you’ve had with your school?

JH: With this school? It was a lot longer, which made it quite a bit more fun. Um…and um, I don’t know, it was like the first overnight trip that wasn’t a camping trip, but yeah, I enjoyed eating meat. That was nice! No more vegetable bread sandwich for lunch.

Int1: I have one more question for you. How was rooming with other people? How did that affect your mood?

JH: Um, I don’t know, I think it made the experience a lot more fun. I wouldn’t want to just be staying in a, I don’t know, a one-person room. I don’t know, it was nice to be with best friends I guess. Socializing, you know…

Int2: If you had known before hand, C, your rooming assignments would you have changed them?

C: You mean the standards of people I had to sleep with? I would have wanted a bigger room, Wi-Fi, I don’t know. I didn’t really care who I had to sleep with honestly.

Int2: Which stopping point did you like the best?

C: Windy Point, except I wasn’t allowed to do anything. I wasn’t allowed to climb. I wasn’t allowed to put myself in danger. I wasn’t allowed to run around like a wild child. It was a real bummer.

Int2: How about the food? I’ve heard it was good, did you like it?

C: I wish I had brought more snacks. I get hungry. A lot.

Int2: Do you think your research topic is interesting?

C: Personally, I’ve never been interested in Earth Sciences but I guess it was cool. I got to see the inside of a tree without chopping it down. It looked like a vanilla wafer thing. And my group was definitely the coolest. Our instructor ROCKED.

Int1: Alright, T, did you enjoy the camping and the rooming with people?

T: Yes! I especially enjoyed my instructor Shelby.

Int1: T, what did you like about your instructor and would you ask for her to be you instructor again?

T: She was nice, and yes I would like her to be my instructor again.

Int2: She made ‘kind of’ funny jokes. I don’t often say that people make the best jokes. Even my dad makes bad jokes.

Int1: T, one more question. Would you ever do something like this again?

T: Yes, because it was very fun and we got to go in the forest. I don’t really like being out that much, just sometimes, but this was pretty cool.

Int3: K, what was your favorite part of the trip?

K: Um, I think my favorite part was the predator/prey, the hiking, and my instructor Shelby. Um, the research project was good, but I felt like we needed to be outdoors more. It was nice to look at nature and experience it. I go outside with sports.

S: There’s nothing I really hated about the trip but I kind of disliked the ride up here because I get carsick and wanna barf, but the view was nice. And I would have loved a bigger dorm room because I roll around a lot and talk in my sleep and I almost rolled off my bunk. Everything was falling off…my blanket, my pillow, my jacket, my leg, part of my arm, my ear! I just want to party in my room.

Int3: If you were to do this again, what would you do differently?

K: Probably go to more places on the mountain, or spend more time on different places like Summer Haven. Probably go into the observatory more often. And maybe go outside and look at the view again at night and try to find Big Foot. My instructors said they didn’t see him, but I know he’s out there…

S: As much as I agree with K, I still would like to add some things. I think we should spend more time outdoors. It would be more fun if we could just move in up here and do a bunch of projects. Like spend years up here. And delay the schedule because I hate nights, Big Foot scares me, and I think I can avoid him in the mornings.

Gregory School 8th grade: This Mixtape is Fire!

Over these past two days, we’ve been studying and researching about the bark on burnt trees, and it’s effect on the surrounding environment. We’re experimenting on the bark of these burnt trees, and comparing their relative nutrient/health levels, distinguishing between fallen and standing trees.

On our way up the mountain, we did an image analysis examining the relative greenness of the foliage. Our findings showed us that the plants got less green as we moved up the mountain, which was to our surprise. We believe that we saw this trend because of the photos we took, and perhaps our photos weren’t representative of the entire ecosystem.

We’ve very much enjoyed playing predator and prey up here on the mountain. Our favorite parts of this game are rushing in to get resources, and then hiding from the predator. We enjoy mimicking the lives of animals! We found a baby Horny Toad by the meadow, which was pretty rad! We uploaded a photo.




-Mixtape Fire

Where’s the nutella?

Yesterday, Team Insanity took a night hike with the class to see the city lights of Tucson. Maddie, Marina, Beatrice, Lauren, Sam, and Sophie used this time to become “one” with their “inter-untiverse.” We also learned that the city lights are kept dim so that astronomers can more easily see the night sky.
While up on the mountain we have also seen indescribable views.
We enjoyed learning about dendrochronology. Tree rings can tell us about the climate a tree has lived in, including information about fires, the amount of water the tree received, and if it grew on an incline.
We listened to a presentation about light and learned that some animals can see different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Like that birds can see in ultraviolet! We also learned that infrared light can give us information about heat and cold.

Mount Lemmon Sky School Blog by the CCC!


Greetings from team CCC!

As we started our journey it was very hot down at the first site we visited, but as we went up the mountain, it gradually became cooler and comfortable. Too bad the dorms were so hot! It got frigidly cold at night. At every site we stopped we counted the number of leaflettes that comprise the leaves of different plants. One plant had 63 leaflets per leaf at Windy Point, a high elevation, windy, dessert-like environment. The majority of plants only had one though.

At night we used the telescope and it was very interesting. Looking at the moon hurt our eyes for a millisecond, it was so bright. The starts were twinkling, which is normal for stars because their light is weak enough be distorted by out atmosphere.

We’ve just had breakfast, but there was no meat for the breakfast burritos!

Till next time!

-Team CCC

Gregory School: Changes in Elevation

We started at the base of the mountain (around 3,400 feet), and there were a lot of cactus, and light dirt. As we progressed up the mountain the soil started to become more moist and cooler (though it’s so humid). We reached a second part of the mountain, known as Middle Bear, and there were a lot more Pine and Oak trees. We then drove to Windy Point, a large granite mountain surrounded by high cliffs. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the campus. It’s from the cold war, so it’s really old. For the hike we mainly went uphill. There was a lot of huffing & puffing because we ended up at about 9,000 ft.. So we stopped at the decomposing log, & played a game of predator prey, we only got to play one round, but I think that people thought it was fun. Then we returned to our campus area for dinner. So, we’re pretty hungry, so until tomorrow (when we start our projects), bye.

Str8 Outta Soil

A poem for the Sky School:

Our time here at Sky School has been SOLID.

The food was trill and the nature was Versace.

The hikes were baller and the people were crisp.


Hello! We are Str8 Outta Soil. So far, we have been hiking the meadow loop trail, checking out fungi and looking out over the city of Tucson from the south-facing slopes of the Catalina Mountains. We learned how to identify a few pines in this mixed conifer forest. We found ourselves especially drawn to the Great Mullein! We spent most of our time developing an observational study of the Great Mullein. Specifically, how Great Mullein influences the soil in disturbed areas. We discovered that trying to develop a study in such a short period of time leads to a lot of limitations, but still interesting scientific results. For instance, Great Mullein may influence total ground cover of fire disturbed areas but does not seem to have the same influence on areas disturbed by roads. This project left us with more questions than we answered, but that is just the way good science works. We’ll let you know the results of our future inquiries!!

We leave you with these gems: pre- and post- The Great Mullein Battle



Str8 Outta Soil

Untitled and Uncontained;Scientists are on the loose!

Team Flower Power here (aka Nameless and Tameless, aka TeamDream)

We hiked up and down the Meadow Loop trail a least 3 times, collecting mad data everywhere we could. We’re investigating how wildflower plant diversity differs between the forested areas and unforested plains. In doing so, we’re measuring sunlight, wind, soil nutrients, and measuring plant diversity through species identification. Our favorite was the Truffala Tree (Monarda citriodora, Beebalm), which looks like a laddered daffodil.

During our afternoon break (it should be noted that we worked through our TWO union-mandated snake breaks), we played cards and napped in the sun. It’s glorious out here.

AJ led an experiment brainstorm while blind. #Waitwhatdoesthatsay?IMG_4979

Also, the bravest of the gang woke up early to watch the sun rise. It’s been a looooooooong day.



Tucson High Magnet School – Team SEPTIC is flushing out ignorance

THMS in da house!

Team SEPTIC listened to bird calls. We wanted to determine bird density as we went up the mountain. We did this by listening to bird calls over three minute increments and recorded the number of calls and the amount of interfering noise.

We learned that there are many uncontrollable factors in nature that make it difficult to study. There was a lot of interference from people, cars, insects, and the shape of the landscape. We also observed that our presence in observing the birds changed the frequency of calls.

We also learned that rocks don’t fly or make songs, so they are more cooperative study subjects. We plan to study them for our research project.

PS: The Forest Service really needs to improve their septic systems!



Tucson High School Soil Badgers – Letter to the world

Hello citizens of the world. We are the Soil Badgers and we are about to tell you something about the Pinus ponderosa and the Pseudotsuga menziensii, more commonly known as the Ponderosa Pine and the Douglas Fir. These are conifers found at the summit of Mount Lemmon. We found Western Dwarf Mistletoe on Ponderosa Pines during our hike, and noticed that the mistletoe was not growing on the Douglas fir. We learned that the mistletoe is not only to kiss under, but it is a parasite of trees. We learned that the mistletoe shoots its seeds up to 100 feet. These seeds are sticky and stick on trees to infect them. We also learned that soil is not ever to be called D$%* because that would mean that is has no life in it, and that is almost never going to happen because of MICROBES!

We also got to see Saturn, Mars, and Venus through the 24′ Phillips Telescope and the Sun through the solar telescope, which we have never done before. We learned that Venus has phases like the moon, and so does Mercury because they orbit between the Earth and the Sun.

We suggest coming to Sky School to get a workout. We hiked more than 6 miles in one day! All for Science!

Peace Out World – Shout out to Tucson


Soil Badgers: Kangaroo, Swift, The Joker and Mesquite.

Tucson Highschool : Hoodoo Voodoo Doodoo?

Becki and her awesome science team took Mt. Lemmon by Storm this morning. The rain couldn’t hold us back at Babad Do’ag, as data collection began – collecting temperature, humidity, elevation, air pressure, wind and plant diversity measurements.  As the rain crept in, our scientific skills only got stronger! By the time we got to Middle Bear we were in full force, nothing could stop us …… until we got distracted by the sight of a monstrous beast : The Horned Toad Lizard!  After filling our brains with environmental knowledge, unraveling the secrets of the bark beetles mysterious world and learning how tree rings hold the key to our past we were off to see some Hoodoos!

After reaching the summit at 9,157 ft, we spent the next hour and a half hiking around discovering the local environment.  We were astonished by the fungi, lichens and moss coating the trees and the gigantic cowboy toilet paper (Common Mullein) alongside the trails!

We can’t wait to dive into our inquiry project tomorrow!IMG_2459 IMG_2456   IMG_2381 IMG_2374 IMG_2275 IMG_2278 IMG_2309 IMG_2314 IMG_2211 IMG_2071 IMG_2154 IMG_2070