In our third year Edinburgh University offers many opportunities to go and study abroad in Europe and internationally. Although Edinburgh for me is already abroad as I come from Lithuania, I was still eager to try my luck and apply for foreign exchange. And oh boy, did I lucked out! Just before Christmas 2010 I was offered a place at the University of California (UC), and several months later I learned that it’ll be at Davis campus that I’ll be spending my junior year. I haven’t heard of UC Davis before starting researching University of California, but as I eventually discovered throughout my year there, it’s one of the best places to study ecology and environmental sciences in the US and probably the world.
But this series of posts is not about my year abroad per se, but rather about ecology that I studied and experienced while there. While the same ecological principles apply whether you are in cold windy Scotland or sunny warm California, plant and animal communities of the latter are very distinct (deserts!), some disturbances are much more important (fire! invasive species!), urban impact is greater while protected areas are some of the wildest places on Earth. I’ll attempt to cover topics that I found incredibly interesting last year and that haven’t really been covered in other years of my study. I’ll try my best to keep it all tied to California but in some cases it might wonder off slightly, but I’m sure it’ll be alright :-)
Also, your comments are greatly appreciated. If there’s a particular topic that you’d like me to discuss, feel free to ask!
So, without further ado, let’s start with the most exciting things of all. Big trees, it is!