The Methods project was a really interesting project. I was a bit confused in the beginning on how it would work and what I needed to do, but once I got the hang of the assignment I was really into it. This project helped me tremendously in my other classes, because I had the ability to practice writing a methods and collecting/presenting images. I also enjoyed the presentations; it made me work on my ability to present in front of a class. I really enjoyed this project and I think it aided in my research writing.
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The Perfect Paragraphs left me with the same feeling as the drafts assignment. Initially, I thought it would not be a difficult assignment but I did struggle. I think that I started completing this assignment more thoroughly toward the middle of the semester. I would set up notifications and rewrite this assignment in my planner to help remind me. I found that this assignment did not really help my writing. I realized that I wrote my drafts less as a stream of conscious writing but more as a perfect paragraph. I wish I had changed how I did this assignment. I was actively editing while I wrote which left my draft and perfect paragraphs being quite similar. I do think this gave me the ability to work on my organization and be more aware of grammatical errors.
The Drafts assignment was one in which I found myself struggling. I initially thought that posting multiple times a week and commenting on other people's posts would be a simple task. I found that it was much harder than I expected. I found myself frustrated on Fridays, realizing that I had not completed any posts or comments. This meant that if I wanted to complete this assignment for the week, I would have to put more effort into organizing my time. I set up notifications during the week to try and remember to do this assignment. This did lead me to having a better outcome and I learned that if I want to consistently do something throughout my week I have to make more of an effort to remember. I also learned that spreading out my writing does not necessarily benefit my writing. I write when motivated by my anxiety of needing to complete an assignment. In those moments, I write my best. Therefore I realized that when I did write throughout the week, I ended up deleting all the writing because it wasn’t good. It did help me organize my thoughts, but as for content, it was not necessarily beneficial.
In Boston, the bodies of water surrounding the city affect the temperature. The high specific heat of water causes it to cool and warm more slowly. Amherst not located in a coastal environment, but in an inland environment. This causes the temperature to be more moderate throughout the year. The tilt of the Earth throughout the seasons causes changes in solar radiation. Amherst is located in the North Hemisphere and is affected based on the sun’s location coupled with the Earth’s tilt. In the summer, the sun is located above the Northern Hemisphere while in the winter the sun is located farther away. The tropics receive more direct solar energy causing a greater amount of evaporation than in areas of higher latitude. The air is also warmer in the tropics which causes it to rise and condense. This leads to the air retaining more water.
There are multiple reasons that poles are cold. There is less daylight hours in the poles and the sunlight has a higher amount of reflection due to larger amounts of ice, snow and water. This causes heat to be reflected and lower the temperature of the air. In addition, there is less water vapor in the poles due to the lower temperature lowering the capacity for water to evaporate. Less moisture in the air allows energy in the form of heat to escape. The sun’s position around the poles causes the atmospheric length to be longer; leading to a lower amount of radiation actually reaching the surface. These factors lead to the air becoming colder.
Yes, I think the title describes the subject of the paper well. The abstract summarizes the essential parts of the study and gave a brief description of the paper in a nutshell. It was also at the appropriate length. The plot sizes need to be explained more thoroughly, as this section has a large amount of given proportions without much information about the locations. There are no inaccuracies in this area. I do not think anything needs to be omitted, just a more thorough explanation of the sites. Each table and figure clearly presented important results. The tables are crammed together and need a larger space between them. This would make the tables and figures more effective. Data is not given in more than one place and units, standard errors, deviations, axis labels and legends are present. The legends are in the right format but are not on their own page. All the figures and tables seem necessary for the paper and no other figures or tables need to be added.
Yes, the larger question presented in the paper is “the effects of water availability on plant communities.” This question is clearly defined in the beginning of the introduction. The background information is thoroughly elaborated on. This paper goes into detail about green house gas affects on precipitation patterns, giving the reader a full background on how green house gasses work and their potential impact. There is one part of the paper that mentions storm tracks without a brief background, leaving the reader a bit confused. The references are useful, especially when they tie in information pertaining to New England climate. The references are cited properly. Yes, the larger question of “the effects of water availability on plant communities” is tied to the hypothesized statement that different slopes will have different amounts of runoff and evaporation leading to different types of vegetation occupying that space. The hypothesis is linked to the prediction that the three sites on the Holyoke Range will have different amounts of water availability.
In class on September 12th of 2019 and September 19th, 12 different adult tree species were measured into 8, 20 by 20m areas. Multiple groups measured out two 10m x 10m plots within the area. Inside each 10 x 10 plot, a 4x4m subplots was measured out. These plots were measured out in 3 different locations; the North Slope, South Slope and the Notch in the Holyoke Range. Before the groups began measuring out plots, they were placed 10 meters apart. The groups purpose was to measure the amount of tree species in two stages of development, sapling and adult.
Differences in air temperature, and solar radiation are also functions of elevation, specifically “photosynthetically active radiation” as these are expected to vary with along a gradient due to differences in topography of a region (Alves, et al 2010). Based off of this research, it was hypothesized steepness of slopes impacts vegetation in an area, where slopes that receive more sun have higher productivity. If this hypothesis is true, it was predicted that there will be a higher density of adults on the south slope and the lowest density on the north slope, the flat slope density will be in-between. Total biomass of all species, based on basal area, will be highest on south and lowest on the north slope. There will also be a higher density of saplings on the south slope and the lowest density on the north slope, the flat slope density will be in-between.
The amount of sun exposure varies between areas of high elevation and low elevation; in addition to flat areas. Using basal area and density as a measure of above ground biomass is important to ecology in predicting different types of plant growth and development within a variety of ecosystems (Chuang, et al. 2019). In general, south-facing slopes have a higher sun exposure than north-facing slopes; leading to a shorter growing season for north-facing slopes and a longer growing season for south-facing slopes (Whiting et al, 2003). The biomass of certain species is determined by a variety of abiotic and biotic factors, specifically solar radiation, and soil nutrients on a slope (Chuang, et al. 2019).Biomass and density of plants is also directly affected by the topography of the landscape that they are planted on. A study conducted on the effects of topography and landforms on the understory of a pine forest in subtropical China concluded that topography and soil properties contributed to 60 percent of the variations in the understory biomass (Xiaodong et al, 2019).