With the tremendous effort of more than a hundred volunteers, we succeeded in sampling over 1000 bigleaf maple trees scattered from the canyons of southern California to the fjords of British Columbia for our Timber Tracking project.
The season is all but closed with a total of 972 leaf samples and 86 sets of wood samples. We couldn't be more proud of this landmark data collection effort, and we're grateful for each and every one of our volunteers.
The samples the team collected will be used to build a genetic database of the species, which will give authorities a powerful new tool to identify the origin of suspicious timber, and bring an end to the activities of illegal loggers.
In the animation below, watch the samples fill the map of bigleaf maple's range as the dates of the season run by at the bottom.
With all the samples collected, the team is now focused on wrapping up and celebrating. Sampling gear needs to be returned, we hosted a virtual happy hour webinar, and there's the end-of-the-season survey for volunteers to fill out. The feedback from surveys like this help us constantly learn from our volunteers and shape each field season for each project to be a success.
Although we're sad to say goodbye to the leafy season, we are excited to keep working with each of our volunteers over the fall and winter months. And further down the line we'll share our comprehensive 2018 field season summary and reports on our partners' preliminary scientific findings.
Thanks everyone who participated directly in the project, as well as everyone who supported it through your broader support of Adventure Scientists!
It's been another incredible year of collecting data, empowering scientists, inspiring adventurers, and getting key decision makers in government, business, and medicine the hard facts from remote areas that they need.
To thank you for all your support throughout the year we're pleased once again to to offer up great gifts of end-of-the-year gear from our partners!
Whether it's a collection of reusable water bottles and tumblers from Klean Kanteen, spacious and stylish messenger bags from Peak Design, sleek sunglasses from Sunski, Croakies to help keep said sunglasses from plunging to the depths on your next adventure, or a GoPro camera to capture it all, these tokens of our appreciation will help you make Adventure Scientists part of your experiences every day.
To enter for your chance to bring home some of this haul of gear, simply make a donation below, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gregg Treinish's epic Across the Andes journey in 2006-8 was where he first conceived of the project that would become Adventure Scientists.
Now, ten years after he and Deia Schlosberg completed that pioneering trek, Bethany Hughes and Lauren Reed have followed (at times literally) in their footsteps, while still blazing an incredible trail of their own. Along the way, that team collectively known as Her Odyssey have also contributed data to two Adventure Scientists projects, bringing Gregg's dream full circle in a very adventurous and scientific way.
The goal of the Her Odyssey project is to traverse the entire north-south distance of the Americas through human-powered means. Starting from Patagonia more than 700 days ago, they have just reached a tremendous milestone: the Caribbean Sea.
Gregg recently caught up with Bethany and Lauren on Jon Bowermaster's Green Radio Hour for an hour-long conversation comparing notes and memories of their uniquely shared experience. Ranging across topics including hiking logistics, Andean hospitality, and the thrill and satisfaction of contributing to scientific research through such a grand adventure, it's a chat that gives rare insight into the world of exploration today.
On October 27th, 2018 the two woman Her Odyssey team of Bethany Hughes and Lauren Reed, completed crossing South America. In 730 days they walked and paddled 12,913 km (8,024 mi) across six countries; Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. This completes the South American portion of their five-year endeavor to travel the length of the Americas by non motorized means connecting the story of the land and its inhabitants.
They divided the crossing of the continent into three portions. In November 2015, the two women began walking north from Ushuaia, Argentina. They became the first people to walk the length of the Greater Patagonian Trail, a long-distance route network across the southern Andes. In the second and third seasons, they followed the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca Empire’s road system, remains of which run from central Argentina to southern Colombia. In this third and final stretch of the continent, they completed the Qhapaq Ñan and integrated paddling 500 km of the Marañón River, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Amazon’ across northern Peru. Colombia was crossed primarily following the Pan-American Highway due to safety concerns.
Besides its core mission of traversing the length of the Americas and connecting stories of the land and its inhabitants, one of Her Odyssey’s values is to promote understanding and appreciation for natural resources and systems. Bethany and Lauren write about their trail experiences here, use what they learn to produce teacher resources in the form of mini lessons, contribute scientific data to Adventure Scientists and trail data to various mapping projects.
Over the next few months the team are pausing to rest, recover, and plan. Next season is set to begin February 2019, when they take to the Caribbean in brand new Trak 2.0 kayaks with Richard, a guide friend, to paddle the first section of Central America. Switching modes of transportation enables the team to tell the story of the Americas from the mountains to the seas.
Thank you all for joining the journey and those of you who are subscribed can still look forward to a couple more posts wrapping up the route and experiences of this season.
Learn more and follow their ongoing journey at her-odyssey.org.
[This post is also viewable on the Her Odyssey blog.]
As the active field seasons for our 2018 projects drew to a close, we asked to see your greatest shots, showcasing the natural beauty in which we explore, collect, and protect.
In return, our awesome partners are honoring the best shots in five categories, each one more or less poetically aligning with their own mission and vision in the world.
Thanks to all the photographers behind the hundreds of entries we received for sharing their unique views of the world with us and the whole Adventure Scientists community.
See the winning photos below, and follow us on social media to learn the story behind each shot in the coming weeks.
By Katie Christiansen
We are thrilled to announce the publication of the results of our Gallatin Microplastics Initiative in the journal Water Research.
Among the key takeaways from our review of the data are the fact that land use around the Gallatin River did not appear to have an effect on the concentration of microplastic particles in the water, and that as the river ran with more water, the concentration of microplastics went down, suggesting that stormwater runoff was not a major source for the microplastics we observed.
Our Gallatin study is the first of its kind to document microplastic pollution within the defined geographic scope of a watershed. For two years, over 120 volunteers hiked, biked, skied, and kayaked to remote regions throughout the Gallatin watershed, a river system that takes its origin in Yellowstone National Park, while collecting nearly 800 samples of water.
These samples were shipped across the country to our partner scientist, Abby Barrows, for processing and analysis in her laboratory in Maine.
Abby is lead author on this peer-reviewed article, written in collaboration with co-authors Dr. Tim Hoellein (Gallatin Microplastic Coalition member and microplastic scientist), Emma Bode (Gallatin volunteer and GIS expert), and me, Adventure Scientists' Microplastics Project Manager.
We are thankful to our volunteers for their dedication to the study and to their commitment to the health of our backyard here in Bozeman. We are excited for the results of this study to contribute to the growing body of knowledge and search for solutions on microplastics pollution.
Read the full paper.
Request access to our Microplastics Toolkit.
Read the Landmark Notes blog: