In this module, we use a data set and apply a mathematical model to find out the "plant diversity index" for riparian and desert plant communities. Student interns and a biology instructor at Diné College collected this data in summer of 2001 in Shiprock, the Navajo Nation. Scientists use the same method.
Below is a map of the sampling areas, that are marked in red. The San Juan river is the "grey line" that snakes horizontally through the middle of the map. Highway 160 is another grey line that runs roughfully parallel to the river on the north.
Polygons of different "grey shades" are human developments. Squares to the east of center are farmland or housing areas.
The large pentagon in the southwest corner is the UMTRA site where radioactive materials from past milling operations are contained.