Rough Science Photo of the Rough Science cast
 Home | Death Valley | Scientists | Ellen | Rover Diary - Day 3
Series 4:
Death Valley
Aerial Surveyor
The Scientists
Director's Notes
Producer's Notes
Tune In
Series 1:
Series 2:
Series 3:
New Zealand
About the Show
Discover More
Site Map
spacer spacer spacer
Ellen's Rover Diary Day 1 2 3

Day Three

I couldn’t believe it when we returned to the “oasis” today—the solar still did okay, while the transpiration bags on the tree accumulated over a cup of water. I literally couldn’t believe it. Sure, I’ve put plastic bags over green leaves on trees and plants in Missouri and in the Amazon to collect water and to demonstrate transpiration, but I never imagined a plant living in this dry environment would release so much water. On the other hand, it must open its stomata in order to let carbon dioxide in for photosynthesis—that’s when the water vapor escapes. Try this at home!

Iain finds lots of water in a spring by an old dry lake. But it’s very salty.

Mike and Kathy did a great job trying to purify the water we give them, but they just don’t have enough time to perfect the system. Turns out the transpiration water is salty. I'll bet that’s because it ran down the leaves and branches of the tree where dust and salt have accumulated. I’ll have to investigate this further. But they do successfully purify the solar still water…

< Previous

Ellen collects water from the desert plants
Scientist's Diaries

Water or wheels? How did the other members of the Rough Science team cope with the first challenge? Read their diaries to find out: