By Chris Gonnerman- Biodiversity
During the 5th and 6th weeks our biodiversity team started contacting various staff and faculty regarding water usage at the Botanical Gardens, Sage Hill, Stone Canyon Creek, and Wilson Plaza. Knowing the amount of water in each region is integral for holistically understanding biodiversity as water is connected to all forms of life. Our group had mixed results in finding information about how much water each region uses.
In the botanical gardens we discovered they do not document the gallon amount they use in the main garden, the herb garden, or in the botany building. This information was rather surprising, however our team has roughly estimated (based on water spout times and emission rated) how much water is used through the irrigation system. We discovered in the main garden and the herb garden that many plants require different amounts of water but are unfortunately right next to each other and aligned to the same irrigation system. The creek running through the garden is unlined and loses much water to the soil and our toughest estimate will be to see how much of this lost water is actually taken up by the surrounding vegetation.
Going into the seventh week of winter quarter our biodiversity team is eager to take its first step with data collection. We want to do mock data collections of the manicured and wild type regions of campus as a means of piloting our methodology. Also, we will be working with students under Brad Shaffer’s Grand Challenges group who will be using coverboards to survey reptiles. This Friday, we will be meeting for a TGIF funding hearing in order to ask for funding for three Malaise traps that will aid in capturing flying pollinators. Watch out for some Steve Irwin-esque ARTists looking through binoculars in the upcoming weeks!