Keyyana Blount GREBES Research Award Report

The GREBES Travel and Research Award provided the resources necessary to fund my preliminary dissertation research. My research, Science Underlying Carbon Cycling in Estuaries of the South Slough (SUCCESS) will examine carbon cycling in the estuarine wetlands on the Oregon Coast. I will analyze greenhouse gas fluxes in conjunction with microbial function in a variety of wetland restoration treatments.

This summer I completed a preliminary experiment to determine if there is a tidal signal to trace gas emissions in estuarine marshes. I used low-tech static chambers to collect gas samples over a time period representative of tidal cycle inundation. This preliminary experiment was vital to the experimental design of my future field work. I learned more about the nature of tides in the system, static chambers design and how to develop an appropriate field sampling protocol.

With the research award I was also able to fund a large portion of my boardwalk construction. With static gas flux chambers it is very important to use boardwalks to reduce pressure changes that produce artificial emissions. With the help of volunteers, I constructed thirty small boardwalks at all ten of my field sites. We constructed boardwalks out of pressure treated wood and anchored most of them to the ground with T-posts and 3’ pointed wooden stakes.

I am very appreciative of the GREBES research award. I am not funded by a grant dedicated to my project, but with the financial support of the organization I was able to begin the research necessary in my steps to candidacy advancement.