I'm on the plane to Oklahoma, and I'm looking down on our country and noticing all kinds of cool spatial patterns. I'm pretty sure you can actually see the effects of our wetland and stream protection policies from the air. In the Midwest, these have resulted in everything but a small buffer around the streams to be used for farmland or urban/suburban use. The buffer seems to be always uniform. It usually looks like the federal 100 ft buffer, but once in a while its uniformly bigger. I wonder if that's the result of better local protection laws, or just less usable land or wetlands that were not drained prior to the day we got smart and stopped draining wetlands.
Check it out:
Another pattern I'm noticing is that once in a while, especially while flying to my stopover in Ohio, I'll see a square patch of what looks like forest surrounded by agricultural fields. I have to wonder if those are old field re-grown forests, tree farms, or patches that have lain unfarmed for a long time.
I still have no idea what's waiting for me when this plane touches down. Will I learn all sorts of cool and useful stuff about forest management and ecology? Will I end up just doing a lot of unrelated stuff? Will I ever be able to explain what I did to my friends beyond a vague "Natural resource management on an Air Force base."? Well, the compy's runnin' out of power, so until next time, thanks for readin'.