Covering Greenhouses and TerrestrialPertaining to land. LTER

    Toolik Field Station, North Slope, AK

    June 12, 2019


    Photo of the Day:

    Finished Greenhouse
    Nicole Williamson, Jim Laundre, and Ruby An (left to right) stand next to a completed greenhouse. Toolik Field Station, AK.


    Today was a bit of a change-up, as I was able to tag along with one of the terrestrial long-term ecological research (LTER) teams to help them cover greenhouses on the hill just south of Toolik Field Station.

    Greenhouses are installed in certain areas every summer in order to create a warmer environment for growing tundra plants. Researchers are then able to then compare plant growth efficacy in warmer vs. cooler habitats (inside greenhouse vs. outside greenhouse) to better predict the effects of warming climate on the vegetation of the Arctic.

    I worked today with Jim Laundre (Senior Research Assistant), Ruby An (Research Assistant), and Nicole Williamson (Graduate Student). They are part of a team led by Dr. Laura Gough, out of Towson University. They had already done most of the work, in terms of setting up the greenhouse frames and placing the polyethylene sheets, so the covering process moved along quite quickly. It was a great afternoon, wonderful weather for being outside.

    Here's a photographic timeline:

    Finishing Greenhouse Frame
    Making final adjustments to the greenhouse frame. Toolik Field Station, AK. Image Source: Ruby An.

    Covering Greenhouse Length-wise
    Rolling out the polyethylene sheet to cover the greenhouse. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Tying Down the Greenhouse Cover
    Nicole Williamson and Ruby An tie down the polyethylene cover. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Covering Ends of Greenhouse
    Jim Laundre and Nicole Williamson roll out the polyethylene to cover the end of the greenhouse. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Cutting PVC Clips
    Jim Laundre cuts PVC clips to anchor the polyethylene to the greenhouse frame. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Inside of the greenhouse.
    Inside an almost-finished greenhouse. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Greenhouse Temperature Detector
    A temperature detector was mounted inside the greenhouse. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Greenhouse Ceiling Window
    Jim Laundre installs a spring-loaded ceiling window that will open automatically when pressure builds inside to vent the area. This is to ensure the greenhouse does not get too hot. Toolik Field Station, AK.

    Toolik Greenhouses
    Four complete greenhouses on the hill above Toolik Field Station.


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