Saturday, November 25, 2006

Appalachian Trail Mega-Transect

Sounds like a new way of hiking the AT (and maybe it is), but the point of the Mega-Transect -- as reported by Vicki Smith in an Associated Press story published on 25 November 2006 in the Washington Post and a whole lot of other places -- is to count and measure stuff. And not just miles to the next shelter, and how much oatmeal, macaroni and gorp is left.

This exciting science project aims to take a deep look at the natural world of the AT. A National Park Service official "says volunteers could help with such tasks as measuring tree diameters, taking photographs to illustrate visibility, tracking the arrival times of migratory birds and dating the blooming and leaf loss of trees." The project will also be measuring ozone levels, and the like.

When I first heard about this I got to thinking that I'd like to do my part to help out. I still do.

[If the above link is dead, try the NPS Digest, which reprints the story, or search the Internet for the phrases "Vicki Smith" and "Appalachian Trail" together.]