December 10, 2013

A border visit


Photos by Anikke Myers.

Migration is an activity that has been seen numerous times following a climactic mass-extinction event such as a catastrophic volcanic eruption on an island or the development of a bare site, called nudation.  Spores, bacteria, insects, and birds all bring about the initial establishment and initial growth of vegetation. Later, competition between species begins, and plant communities start to replace one another until finally stabilizing themselves or becoming self-perpetuating as a climax community.

On December 9, 2013, I traveled to El Paso, Texas to visit the border between Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua.

While there, I visited several locations along the US/Mexico border fence: Monument One, Casa de Adobe, the border fence separating Chihuahua and Texas, and the Stanton Street Bridge pedestrian crossing between the US & Mexico.

At each location, I collected microbe-laden samples from the structures using a cotton swab. Each swab was used to inoculate a Petri dish filled with an agar solution. The samples were labeled on site and transported back to Albuquerque in an incubator, where they have been growing ever since.

Feel free to have a look inside the incubator, I have brought a magnifying glass along for you to have a closer look if you would like. Please do not open the Petri dishes.

-Elizabeth Shores







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