During the spring quarter of 2006 at Clermont College the students of the Ecology lab mapped the trail through the South Maple Creek woods using a compass, flags, and a tape measure. A straight portion of the path was determined and flags were placed to mark the boundaries of the stretch of land. Two students would then stand at the flags facing each other and two compass reading were taken. One from each flag to eliminate operator error, the readings averaged to be 180 degrees apart. Then the measure tape was used to measure the distance between flags, and also the width across the path at each marker.
The flags and the measure tape were used during the faunistic and floral surveys, along with string. The faunistic survey used only a watch, the class would observe a specific area and count the insects and other animals that were present. Plots 16 meters squared were measured out and marked with flags and connected with string for the shrub survey. The herb survey used plots 1 meter squared. After the plots were measured out the students counted all of the herbs or shrubs in the specified area.
While testing the soil, a soil testing kit, mortar and pestle, Calgon, and sieve set were used. The soil testing kit involved testing the sample of soil for levels of phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium and pH. An extracting solution was added to the soil to test the phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium, the pH test involved adding a pH indicator solution. The mechanical analysis involved 50g of soil, finely ground added to a beaker containing 5g of Calgon Q.s. to 900 mL. The solution mixed for about 15 minutes, then decanted repeatedly to remove the clay. The "mud" then had to be dried out completely, over a hot plate. The dried soil was then sieved through the sieve set.
During the Tree Pair Analysis a tree tape measurer was used to determine the tree's diameter. The measurer is adjusted with pi calculated into it to allow reading of diameter to be taken. A tree was selected and measure at breast height, then the closest tree was also measured and the distance between the two were also measured.
To test the hardness of water a 100mL sample of water was measured into a beaker and drops of indicator solution was added. The solution was then titrated with HCl until the water turned a faint yellow. To test acidity the following regiments were made: 16.988g AgNO3 dissolved into distilled water to make a 0.1 M solution; and a saturated K2CrO4 solution. Then 2-3 drops of the K2CrO4 solution was added to the water samples and titrated with AgNO3 until a red color is present.
Various environmental factors were tested on May 23, 2006 using a light meter, soil thermometer, wind speed meter, and a sling psychrometer. Different areas of the campus were evaluated by placing the soil thermometer into the soil and leaving it there for about 10-15 minutes, then taking a reading. The sling psychrometer was used to measure the air temperature and the relative humidity. The cloth in the psychrometer was dampened with a cap placed over it. The psychrometer was then spun in the air for several minutes until a stable temperature was determined. The light meter measured the light intensity at high, medium, and low settings. The wind speed was determined by holding the wind speed meter in a vertical position and allowing the wind to flow through the holes at the bottom pushing a ball to determine the miles per hour.