Desert Quartz-Algae Research

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Nature Pages

In the deserts of Southern California, I studied a photosynthetic community of algae and cyanobacteria that live on the undersurface of pieces of quartz rock out in the desert. This equipment measures the temperature above and below the rocks. In August '00, I measured temperatures near 70 deg. Celsius (158 deg. F) where the algae grow under the quartz!

Jeff's measuring rock temps! Quartz temperature sensor

My rental car enjoyed the view of the research area, but note the flat left rear tire 12 miles away from civilization!
So on my next trip, I upgraded to a "you're in the desert so go where you want" vehicle!

desert flat tire Real desert vehicle

While in CA, I made a few side field trips. Click below for pics.

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Created on ... January 19, 2001 | Revised February 25, 2001 |