Trail Blazing

Let’s make something clear- the Trinity River Audubon Center has a lot of forest land. To give you an idea, I’ll tell you a little about my experience designing my project.

Jewel Lipps and Shannon Hart working at the Trinity River Audubon Center

Jewel Lipps and Shannon Hart working at the Trinity River Audubon Center

I spent months on background research, just reading forestry and ecology studies in order to develop a method appropriate for the TRAC forest area. There’s surprisingly many ways someone can study a forest! It’s not scientific (or smart) to wander into the woods aimlessly, so researchers randomly sample the area.

I decided to have 28 sample plots. They are each 100 square meters. I will be identifying and measuring every tree in a total 2800 square meters of forest. For a really loose approximation, that’s the area of just over half of a football field- but totally filled with trees!

My total area sampled is only about 1% of the forest at the Trinity River Audubon Center…

…and the Trinity River Audubon Center is maybe 0.01% of the Great Trinity Forest. Maybe.

Anyone feeling adventurous? There’s a lot to explore!

Something else I want to make clear- there are no trails, no signs, and no easy way to get to my randomly selected sample plots. My fantastic field partner Shannon Hart weaves through the trees with me each time, creating our own path to discover the stories of the forest.

Shannon Hart exploring the Great Trinity Forest

Shannon Hart exploring the Great Trinity Forest

 

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