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1124-BiologistsReport

Science Report
11/24/2014
Paul Sokoloff

Today was my last dedicated EVA for plant collecting.  We focused on two areas immediately 
adjacent to the hab - a dry streambed and sandstone outcrops to the east of the Hab (opposite the 
Hab turnoff on Cow Dung Road), and along the top of the plateau immediately southwest of the Hab. 
The first location yielded new lichen diversity not yet recorded during this rotation, and two 
different endolithic cyanobacteria containing rock type - sandstone, and a prolifically colonized 
quartz rock.  The plateau yielded at least one new species of vascular plant, and many species 
previously collected on this trip.

With the collection portion of my research program wrapping up (any further collections this trip 
will be opportunistic), I'm turning my attention towards identification and processing of the 
specimens.  Some of this will take place in sim, but the majority of the identification will take 
place back at my lab in Ottawa - where reference material is available for the vascular plants 
and lichens, and where we can extract chloroplast DNA from the cyanobacteria colonies for 
identification.  Each specimen was collected in duplicate: one set of specimens will be deposited 
at the National Herbarium of Canada at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and one set will be left 
here in Utah, at the Intermountain Herbarium in Provo.  After identification, this biodiversity 
data will be used to start an annotated checklist to the flora of MDRS, a document that will be 
useful to future crews conducting biological work at the Station.