Meet 0630 at Burger King in Wellington on west side of I-25. It is a little under two hour trip to 8 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming to get to GLEES research area. This trip weather-dependent. We'll explore the research property hoping to find common species of gray jay, chickadees, junco, creeper, nuthatches, flicker, pine grosbeak, crossbill, woodpeckers, and some migratory waterfowl. More importantly, the Physical Scientist also reports " ... about fifty unidentifiable species of little gray and brown birds. So, we clearly need your help!" and that they appreciate us visiting the site and helping to understand and increase their species list.
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What is GLEES you may ask?
It is a U. S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station-owned (Fort Collins) managed alpine and subalpine scientific research area in the Medicine Bow National Forest. It covers five square miles and is at altitudes of 10.5K to 11.5K altitude.
With the exception of grazing and limited mining, GLEES has been relatively undisturbed by human influence.
As a wilderness-like area near the Rocky Mountain Front Range urban corridor, GLEES research allows scientists and land managers to better understand the impact of human development on the local environment. GLEES research also provides useful hydrologic and air quality data for the entire region.
Since 1989, scientists have traveled to GLEES to gather data on water chemistry, soil and air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, and wind direction. The site’s permanent vegetation plots and more than 25 years worth of historical data make the site a key long-term resource for researchers in the Rocky Mountain region and worldwide. Specific studies have focused on bark beetle impacts, changes in climate, ozone levels and the effectiveness of “cloud seeding” to increase precipitation. GLEES has high-elevation lakes and trees ranging in age from seedling to more than 500 years old, and is home to moose, elk, deer and a species of freshwater shrimp that is normally found near the Arctic Ocean.
GLEES also serves as a site for scientific training and offers a place for collaboration with universities and various agencies. These include the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Site weather history shows we’ve got about a 70% chance of good weather at this time. Ought to be a high of about 41-50F degrees. Winds can pick up this time of year.