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The Elements of Typographic Style

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Species Determinations

The critical piece of a forest inventory is assigning the right names (both local and scientific) to the trees that you are counting and measuring. Call things by the wrong name and the data aren't worth much (a fact that is seldom appreciated, unfortunately).  During the recent fieldwork in Guizhou (see First Plot and Counting the Rings), Mr. Yang Chenghua from the Guizhou Forestry Academy (shown above looking through his Checklist of Plant Genera in China) was in charge of making sure that we called things by their right names.

Not only would he write the correct scientific names of all the trees in the field book after each transect:

But he also made Excel spreadsheets with the names of all the associated trees, shrubs, and herbs, that he recorded on each site:

A competent and hard-working botanist. A great guy. And a pleasure to work with. Xie xie, Mr. Yang. [NOTE: He carried that book with him everywhere - rain or shine]. 

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