Once the students arrive at the plots, they monitor soil changes and vegetation in the designated areas. They also document patterns in soil erosion, overstory mortality and ecological succession within the plots. “We want to see what a wildfire kills and what is growing back. Are you having the same species return or different species? Looking at these factors you can predict what the forest is going to look like in the future,” Hannah Bailey, a senior forest resource management major, said.One of the most important aspects of this Creative Inquiry project has been the focus on the long-term effects of wildfires on trees. “Last year we identified every tree in the plot. Students noted the species and dimensions of the trees and then transcribed a long list of variables regarding the tree’s health,” Hagan said. Students return to these trees at regular intervals and record any health changes.