Field of Science

High tech field research

You hear so much about the high cost of technology to do research, and I wonder what all the fuss is about? Field season for the Phactor’s high tech research is just beginning (it never waits until the semester is over). So let’s see how the check list is going.

1. Find 100 one meter square quadrats after prairie has been burned. Check. Three “permanent” metal marker tags missing (par), all the locator spikes in place (wow!). Great! No careful work with high tech tape measures to find missing quadrats.

2. Eradication treatment. The prime subject of this research is a parasitic plant, so one of the treatments is to remove it from the nearly half the quadrats (less controls). Of course the plant also has to be eradicated from a 50 cm demilitarized zone around each quadrat, so the total area per quadrat is 4 meters square. So you get the idea, it’s sort of like removing a lot of dandelions from 200 square meters of a very weedy lawn. The cost of the high tech tool is not prohibitive, about $4 at any Ace Hardware.

3. Straighten back. Now that the Phactor thinks about it, his field research could be funded by the profits from converting his field work into an exercise video, “Weed your way to wellness”. Lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks and have publishable data to boot. Order yours now!

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