Monday morning, our team was able to help two research assistants, Denise and Anna, who have been staying at the research center. Denise is all the way from the University of Texas studying environment and wildlife conservation. Anna is closer to home, from the University of British of Columbia studying ecology minoring in geography. One of the their current projects is to try and determine the effect of plant diversity on the decomposition rate of roots in the Yukon by studying three different plants. We got to work with Firewood, kinikinik (Common Bear Berry) and grass (Hairy Wild Rye), which are plants common in the Kluane Lake area.
The pair told us that with this research, the possible implications of this project can be used to construct conservation methods and promoting ecological diversity. How they described this idea was by explaining if there are symbiotic relationships between different species of plants and their root systems, it could better sustain itself in a dry and cold climate.
Our team helped wash and dry roots and this is a lot of the unseen work in field studies and experiments. We were really grateful to have met them and hear their own post-secondary experience and how similar it was to our own.
In the afternoon, we headed into Burwash to help Sandy and the community with whatever they needed. We split into two teams. One group went to assist with the construction of a four-plex. The four-plex was built to provide housing for staff members so that more people can stay and help with development projects. Here we helped Jared clear up the area outside the four-plex. Jared is also the youth counselor at Burwash and he helps address any concerns that the youth in the town may have. Among his many other roles, he also runs his own business in photography and film!
The other group stayed with Sandy to help with the set up of a new green house. It was meant to introduce the concept of gardening and where our food comes from to the youth. We helped one of the locals, Lu, to build crate boxes to house the plants. We brought in tomato and bean plants from Sandy’s own green house that she has babied for the past few weeks. At the end of the day, it was refreshing to see the greenhouse filled up and ready for kids to come in.
Gayathri and Michael