Musings from the geographical centre of BC!

While Graham has been frolicking in Squamish over the past month, I have been working as a research assistant at a study site about 1.5 hours SW of Vanderhoof, BC (the geographical centre of the province!). The region where I am working is referred to as the “Big River Country”, expansive backcountry more than 15 times the size of Hong Kong (pop: 17 Million) with a population of 150 people.

Our study site is called Carrott Lake. It looks a like this:

Carrott Lake Experimental Site (photo cred: M. Krawchuk)
We spend our days counting and measuring vegetation species, coring and characterizing trees (many of which have been killed by mountain pine beetle) and collecting soil samples. We collect our data at measured intervals within our study plots, centred around sample pins that looks like this:
Sample point centre

Here we are enjoying a fun day of soil sampling!

Digging a soil pit in the rain! (photo cred: M. Krawchuk)
The product of our soil sampling day (photo cred: M. Krawchuk)

When we are not at Carrott Lake, we are back at our campsite, which is an hour away at Nechako Lodge (, a beautiful wilderness and aviation resort near the Kenney Dam. We really like food…

Photo cred: M. Krawchuk

 and campfires…

Photo cred: M. Krawchuk

You might be asking, “what is the purpose of all this fieldwork?” Well, in the next week or so, we will be returning to Carrott Lake to participate in the BURNING of our study plots. I am pretty excited about this prescribed burn, and the awesome outcome for research in vegetation resilience when the burn is complete. Hopefully it will inspire some great Master’s Research questions 🙂

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