Thursday, June 19, 2014

First DSC Science Club meeting Wednesday, June 25 at 11 am

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Time: 11 am
Location: Big Break Regional Shoreline Park, Oakley

Who is Invited? High School Students (including incoming 9th graders) from East Contra Costa County including Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood

What will be happening?  Students will help with on a special Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Island student to test greenhouse gases and island subsidence. Water, soil and air testing will be conducted in the student. This program is part of a UC Davis and UC Berkeley study. Read posts in this blog for more information on this study. This is the second year for this student. 

For more information: email

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Interesting story on carbon in the Contra Costa Times

To get a clearer understanding about Carbon Emissions and the governments race against the effects of global warming check out the story in the June 2, 2014 edition of the Contra Costa Times. California has it struggles and the study that local East County Students are developing through the Delta Science Center's AFRI grant with UC Davis and UC Berkeley will give them help in understanding what carbon emissions is all about.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rice is beginning to sprout and AFRI Science Club info

Just a few days into the growing process and rice is beginning to sprout in the Learning Lab greenhouse on Jersey Island. If all goes well the rice will be ready to transplant mid to late June and ready for students to begin the study at the end of June.

High school students, as well as incoming 9th graders, enrolled in Liberty High School, Freedom High School, Antioch High School and Deer Valley High School are welcome to sign up to work on the study. The program runs through the summer.

Several of the teachers who are involved with the study are offering credit in the program for the 2014-15 school year. (Please check with your school for details). Several students are also using the hours on the summer program to fill in for their volunteer credit. (Make sure that your school allows you to complete senior required volunteer hours in advance of the school year and fill out the necessary forms in advance to make sure you are able to receive credit).

The first club meeting will be announced in the second week of June however it is currently looking like it will be the week of June 23. Keep watch for details, or send your email to to be put on a mailing list for the club.

We will also be looking for student leadership for the club. Those interested should contact the above email. Club leaders will help with promotion of the club, make up club agenda and work with developing blogs for this site.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Soaking the Rice to prepare for planting.

Rice seed Calmochi-101or CM101 will be used for the AFRI Jersey Island testing site. 
Calmochi-101 is a very early maturing waxy (also known as sweet, mochi, or glutinous) short grain released in 1985. It has excellent resistance to cool temperature sterility. Its pedigree is: Tatsumi mochi//M7//S6.features.

Since Jersey Island is located in Contra Costa County, the temperatures can be as much as 10 degrees lower than other areas where rice is usually grown. This is the same rice we had success with last year, so it should grow nicely in the greenhouse we've built to get it started. So far we are hearing that the temperatures are going to be a little warmer than 2013, so we're going to be watching the temperatures during the testing season this year to see how it any affect on the rice we're growing.

Welcome back 2014...

The Delta Science Center is beginning a new season for the 2014 AFRI rice field testing project on Jersey Island this week. Members of the DSC staff and volunteers built a new greenhouse this weekend. Rather than last year's six greenhouse, that could not withstand the island wind, we built one greenhouse that we hope will be work better.

Below are the photos:

The dimensions of this greenhouse is now 50 feet x 12 feet. It will allow to plant more seed and keep everything good and warm inside. The wind has already picked up the last few days and everything is hold pretty steady. 

Next step is soaking the soil...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Testing Day at the AFRI Rice Field

We took a lot of pictures today out at the rice field. This way we can get a close up idea of how all the rice in the field is fairing and decide when we are ready to take the next step. The next step is to stop adding water to the field and drain it. We will send the photos to our team members at UC Davis and see what they think.

In the meantime we also did more water testing today. For a look at what all the tests should be showing us, see our previous post.

Here are the results:
Nitrate-Nitrogen levels on both fields are still the same as last time at 0.0.

Sulfate levels are keeping pretty consistant, with just a little variation in Field 2 Sample B.
Field 1 Sample A = 160
Field 1 Sample B = 100
Field 2 Sample A = 160
Field 2 Sample B = 80

Low Range Phosphates show a little variation this time as well.

Field 1 Sample A = 1.0
Field 1 Sample B = 0.8
Field 2 Sample A = 0.2
Field 2 Sample B = 0.4

Amonia-Nitrate samples are the same as last week at all fields showing .25

Measuring of salt and conductivity remains within similar ranges

Field 1 Sample A = Salt 1540   Conductivity 2230
Field 1 Sample B = Salt 1550   Conductivity 2240
Field 2 Sample A = Salt 1480   Conductivity 2150
Field 2 Sample B = Salt 1560   Conductivity 2260

Water temperature at testing time: 70.7 degrees.

Here are the pictures of the fields.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rice is flowering stage

Today we took air samples from our rice field AFRI project. We'll send the samples to our team at UC Davis who will check the totals. We take three carbon (gas) samples from each side of the field to see if there is any change to the amount of carbon emitted into air from each stage the rice is in. We take air samples every two weeks.

There are three main growth stages of the rice plant:
1. vegetative (germination to panicle initiation)
2. reproductive (panicle initiation to flowering)
3. ripening (flowering to mature grain)

Right now the rice on Jersey Island is at the flowering stage. The flowering stage begins with the emergence of the first anthers from the 'uppermost spikelets on each panicle.

Each individual spikelet flowers for only several hours during the middle of the day on two or three successive days.

Flowering begins among the uppermost spikelets and continues for approximately 15 days regardless of variety as the remaining spikelets successively open (the lowermost spikelets flowering last). During flowering, pollen from the anthers is transported by wind and insects to the stigma, which carry it down into the ovaries where fertilization of the ovules occurs.

In another week or so we will be draining the water from the field and letting the rice dry out which will take several weeks.