Ming Lu, 2012, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

The project that I was working on (with Kelly Caylor’s lab and Frances O’Donnell as the “mentor”) is on the dryland vegetation along the Khalahari transect, which runs north-south in Botswana. Along this transect, the consistency of the solid is the same, but the amount of rainfall varies. Thus, several sites (four) are picked along this transect and comparisons are done on how the change in rainfall affects the amount of above ground and below ground biomass. Since this is a dry environment, special attention is put in the lateral spread of the below ground biomass.”

“Basically, this summer I assisted in the fieldwork that is required to take the data for this project. I helped on something called GPR (ground penetration radar), a machine that sends a radar signal below ground, and by looking at the parabolas created by the radar bouncing off of the roots, you can model the roots that are underground. I also helped with root excavations and mapping.