Day 1 (our arrival) and Day 2 were filled with rapid fire instructions and lots of cultural exchange.
Since there are four English-speaking participants (from the USA, Australia, Spain and China) and four Portuguese-speaking participants from Brazil, introductions were made and information was presented in both languages. This dual-language approach was helpful because it allowed for comparison between the languages for both groups and made it easier to begin to understand each other.
In true Alcoa tradition, much time was devoted to safety discussions. Most participants have not spent a lot of time in the great outdoors, especially in the Brazilian rainforest, so this review of possibly dangerous elements was appreciated by everyone.
Day 2 began with more discussion of the worldwide problem of climate change and helped everyone to better understand each other’s reasons for coming on this expedition and the need for our participation in it. Everyone then hiked to the Regional Climate Center so we could understand the importance of this facility. After a pleasant bag lunch under the screened pavilion at the Climate Center, we continued hiking to the Earthwatch laboratory where we helped with our first scientific work.
We sorted and bagged dried leaf litter, gathered by prior teams, from the study plots in the forest. We were instructed in organization of the plots, in how to use the calipers for measurement, and were introduced to some of the tree species we would be measuring and counting on some of the 1 hectare plots. (A hectare is 100 meters X 100 meters--a little over 2 acres.) The day was sunny and warm and gave many opportunities for photographing the environment and the participants.
Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow when we will hike in to the study plots and gather data. Rain is expected for the next 3 days. We will work if the rain is not too extreme, which could make trekking too hazardous.
-Fence posts and utility poles are made of concrete since wood would rot in the wet conditions.
-They have Coca Cola in Brazil but no Dr. Pepper.
-There seems to be no peanut butter but I have had local candy with that flavor. People from all lands want comfort and security.
-My pedometer registered 11,748 steps today for a yield of 5.19 miles. Tomorrow should be much more.
Blogger: Tommy Rogers