As of 6:30 this morning, my research proposal is finished. In case you haven’t been keeping track, that’s two this month. The first one was a description of what I was going to do with money I’d already been given. The second is an attempt to convince someone to give me money for what I want to do. I really hope I get it! I really want to do this project. And I need more paid hours in the lab next semester.
Assuming I get this grant, I’ll be working on two related projects involving pinyon pine and drought. Pinyon pine are a foundation species. Unlike the forests where I grew up, there aren’t a ton of tree species out here. Pinyon grow in pinyon-juniper woodlands. There are pinyon pine and juniper. No other trees at all. And the pinyon here are dying out very very quickly. It’s been getting dryer and hotter here since the 90s and most climate models say that trend is only going to continue. In some places 90% of the pinyon have died. We have sites that have experienced 85% mortality. My research will hopefully find better drought adapted pinyon populations and help predict where other drought adapted populations may be found.