7 December, 2002
Going to Blood Falls
The team will make a trip to Blood Falls. This is at the end of Taylor Valley
where there appears to be blood coming from the middle of the glacier. Some of
the team members believe that the soil near the base of the Taylor Glacier will
be the most newly exposed soil and therefore most likely will not have any
organisms. we can take a sample here, and not do a true transect. The soil
taken here can serve as a negative control.
When we get to the area, we become intrigued with the appearance of the snow
and ice where the "red" material is embedded in the ice. We can think of lots
of questions to ask about this phenomena. Rusty wants to take some of the red
material on the ice back to the lab and put it in one of the plates with growth
media to see of anything will grow. We all think there must be some organisms
living here. The pattern on the ice is typical of patterns made by colonies of
organisms. Do you think there are living organisms at Blood Falls?
<> Blood Falls Blood Falls is at the end of the Taylor Glacier. What do you think is the cause of the reddish color that we see coming out of the glacier? Do you think anything might be living in the soil here?
<> Before we pack our gear and head back to camp, we decide that we need some ice. We collect some "glacier berries" and take them back in a backpact . Do you think the ice is safe to eat? Do you think we ate some of it? What would you do?
<> Mr.Yeast flag flies at our collection site
The team discusses where to collect a soil sample. Where do you think we should take the sample? Do you think anything is living here?
Close up of the ice at Blood Falls. As we look closely at the ice, we speculate that there might be some organisms growing here. The pattern looks like living material. We document with photos and take a sample to grow in the lab. Why do you think Rusty Rodriguez put his finger in the picture?
Soil samples taken here.
The team looks closely at the ice. We discuss the probability of organisms living here. We discuss how much to take and where the best place is to collect a sample using sterile technique. What is sterile technique? Why do we want to use sterile technique? Do you think there are organisms living here?
Close up of the ice at Blood Falls. As we look closely at the ice, we speculate that there might be some organisms growing here. The pattern looks like living material. We document with photos and take a sample to grow in the lab.
Collecting soil. We decide to collect soil for the negative control here. What are controls in an experiment? Talk with your friends and decide what this means. Then think about what a negative control might be. Why do you think we want a negative control? If you look carefully, you will see our screens near where we are standing. We decide that we will not measure out a grid here. Is this fair? Why do you think we made this decision?
The research team looks more closely at the red material in the ice at the end of the Taylor Glacier. We want to take a soil sample here, but have been distracted by this curious looking red ice and compacted snow. We will take a sample of this material as well as the soil. Do you think anything is living here? How would you test the material?
Making decisions The team discusses where to collect a soil sample. Where do you think we should take the sample? Do you think anything is living here?
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