Cake Eater Lake & Thermokarst Ponds

    International Biological Program (IBP) a program that took place from the late 1960's to the early 1970's. The program sought to investigate the productivity of the Arctic TundraA treeless area between the icecap and the tree line of arctic regions, having a permanently frozen subsoil and supporting low-growing vegetation such as lichens, mosses, and stunted shrubs. and today scientists are still investigating the area. The students in the Aquatic Ecology Lab at UTEP are investigating the sites at the IBP and comparing the open water sites and more vegetated sites.

    On the boardwalk.
    Following Dr. Lougheed on the boardwalk of the BEO.
    Water is collected at all the ponds, but samples will be analyzed back at UTEP. The water collected will be used for gathering nutrients, Dissolved Organic CarbonOrganic carbon compounds form the physical basis for all living organisms. (DOC), alkalinity, chlorophyll, pH, trace metals, and ammonia. Dr. Vanessa Lougheed is lead of the aquatic team. Dr. Lougheed has been collecting data since 2008, where she has made comparative studies of the tundra ponds, lakes, and rivers. Being a mom, her work never fails.
    Lougheed in the field
    Dr. Vanessa Lougheed checking the YSI multi probe
    Joining the aquatic team is her 5-year-old son Angus. He is curious and makes going to the field a little more delightful. Outfitted in his crocodile hip waders, he collects bugs and jumps into puddles when equipped in his waterproof gear. Definitely a scientist in the making! Just like the team, we all have the tough task in how to handle the mosquitos. Bug nets and hats are coveted items in the field, luckily I have the most awesome thing – a bug shirt. This awesome parka goes over your jacket and head, but it keeps all the mosquitos out. Thank You Robbie!
    Mosquitos at Cake Eater Lake
    Ruth Rodriguez and the mosquitos.
    Every site has standing water, which doesn't help. Trekking from pond to pond takes some time. After collecting the water, we head back to the BARC to prepare the samples, especially for periphyton –the algae that sticks to the sediment, chlorophyll, and DOC. To do most of this, filtering is required and all samples are frozen to be taken to El Paso.
    Did we get everything?
    The UTEP AEL team double checking that nothing was missed.

    Barrow Environmental Observatory
    Weather Summary
    Warm and muggy-clouds in the distant
    Wind Speed
    1 mph