[researchers gather up equipment by frigid lake] [text screen: Wapusk Measuring Plants]
[ecologist John Sweetman and Lauren McDonald show us equipment designed to measure plant growth at lake’s edge]
John Sweetman: So this is Lauren McDonald who is a grad student at the University of Waterloo and she’s got here, this is a pretty simple device here and we were hoping to capture some of those plants that are growing in the pond over the summer and so these are just coil ring binders and some plastic sheets that are attached to a wooden float here.
John Sweetman: So we’ve got a very sophisticated anchor system here which is a rock in some pantyhose to basically hold it in place and make sure it doesn’t drift across to the other side of this pond and so we’ll leave this in, this is June now, we’ll be back later in July and then in September we can remove some of these strips and look at a lot of things. So, pass it off to Lauren and she’s going to, actually just walk out, it’s so shallow that we can walk out in these ponds and deploy them .
[Lauren walks the float system out into the lake]
John Sweetman:And so there’s various things we can look at, we can look at the actual organisms and try to identify different plants so things like diatoms which grow on the surface of those plastic sheets and then we can look at things like stable isotopes on them as well to get an idea of evaporation to precipitation and get an idea of some of the hydrology of the systems as well. [Lauren returns to shore after deploying the float system]
Male voice off screen: What are the chances of bears taking that and eating on it and using that as a toothpick?
John Sweetman: It’s possible; our hope is that they’ll still be there when we come back. They’re kind of visible so this is going to be the first test so hopefully bears don’t find that attractive, hopefully they’re there when we come back
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