OPAL scientist's blog

OPAL on Twitter

Sarah West, Yorkshire and Humber

Last week I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get OPAL on twitter. This means that people can keep up to date with what OPAL are doing via their mobile phones. It's a weird concept but a lot of people are using it, so we're trying to get used to the completely new language of tweets, @mentions and hashtags.... anyway, if you've got a twitter account and you'd like to see what we're up to, follow us at http://twitter.com/OPALnature - it would be great to 'see you' in the twittersphere!

 

Tags: 

Succession in action

Sarah West, Yorkshire and Humber

Last week I visited the beautiful Strensall Common to set up a project with Natural England who run the site. It's a SSSI, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which means that it has rare plants or animals on it so it gets special protection. Julian from Natural England showed us around the site. It's a lowland heath, a rare type of habitat (see OPAL East Midlands pages for more information as they're doing research on these habitats)

Tags: 

Are more equal societies happier?

Last week the Stockholm Environment Institute where I work had our annual seminar, with Jonathan Porrit and Kate Pickett talking about social justice, fairness and equality in societies. Kate has written a book called the Spirit Level, which basically says that more equal societies (where the wealth gap between the richest and poorest people in society is small) are better off as a whole in many ways.

Treecreeper

I've just seen a treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) from my office window! I've not seen one for at least 10 years so I'm pretty excited. These are fantastic little birds that climb up vertical tree trunks, using stiffened tail feathers for support. 

 

Treecreeper

Tags: 

The phenology phenomenon

Well it's feeling almost spring-like here in York, thank goodness, and according to the University weather station it is 9 degrees today. The primroses in an old pot in my yard have got new leaves and I'm hoping for the first flowers soon. Yesterday I took some students out to Wakefield and the buds on the trees were definietely swelling.

Tags: 

More Nitrogen Deposition

by Ed Tripp, University of Nottingham

Sampling and Sabotage

Nitrogen deposition comes in many forms. It can be diffuse, deposited in rain or from industry, or it can be more localised, from a single farm stocked with cattle or chickens for example. I have already investigated the former with bioassays and modelled nitrogen data. But the latter can be so localised, a matter of hundreds of meters, that it cannot be modelled. Therefore, it has to be measured in the field.

Tags: 

Lab-Field-Office - Part 3

by Ed Tripp, University of Nottingham

Not all goes as planned.

As I discussed in my last post, by June I had started to collect lichen samples in order to investigate their recovery in heathlands. This process is simple. You go to a heathland site with some pots, scissors and gloves. After eventually finding a patch of lichen, you carefully cut off a small sample and put it in a pot to take back to the lab.

Tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - OPAL scientist's blog