I've been lacking in my updates, due both to being busy at work and not having internet access at my apartment. Today I'm updating from the Daily Grind in downtown Pullman, where students have taken over with laptops to prepare for finals. The internet connection is running slower than molasses in January. On top of that, I forgot to upload recent pictures before coming here, so you'll have to wait awhile longer for true, exciting, photo-filled updates.
I do have this one photo for you though, taken a couple of weeks ago when we were soil sampling at the Wilke research station, just outside of Davenport, WA. This particular research project has 48 plots, all of which had to be sampled for our bulk density and fertility analyses. We take 2 cores per plot, which are combined into one representative sample. The tractor you see has a Giddings probe attached to the back--it's a hydraulically-driven corer that allows us to sample as deep as 5 feet without the human strain required when using a king tube or push probe. Even with this mechanical advantage, sampling takes a lot of time and I've spent many days in the field. The sun has been shining--I've got the sunburns to prove it--and there are definitely worse ways to spend a day at work.