Judy: Without proper equipment some of the results will most likely be useless to you, however I can give you some basic information. I do not want to disclose my exact methods as I would like to publish my work first (Don't need anyone beating me to the punch lol.)
Soil Moisture- seems to be within a range of 21-39% low to mid 30's are the majority with a few anomalies.
Elevation- Not enough samples for this to become a significant number yet.
Soil Temperature (Taken at 2",4",6" in Celsius) - This obviously is going to change depending on the time of season especially at the shallowest depths which vary the most. @ 2" early season soil temps started at around 8.5 and got up to around 13 towards the ladder of the season. 4" 8.8-12. 6" 8.3-11.5. Once I get everything in graph form it will be much more informative.
Air Temp.(Degrees F)- Varying by location and day anywhere from ~49-82 (last year was strange as everyone knows especially in comparison to this year. I cant wait to see how this year effects the data.
Direction from tree- Only valid when coupled with the GPS mapping I've done.
I would love to supply more information when I can recording these readings is time consuming and in accordance with the University I can only use samples from public locations and locations which I have signed permission. Which can be difficult to find enough land to hunt anyone who provided me with permission I gave a few pounds of Morels to upon completion of the day. Obviously I did not record every time I went out last season, sometimes I do enjoy not having to carry a 50 Lb. pack around and being able to just hunt and enjoy nature.
These readings will likely change but with the small (relatively) amount of data I have there are already some patterns.
Upper Iowa is the University.
Betsy- I suppose I understand your skepticism but just because you didn't spend the required amount of time in the timber and get more than a mile off the beaten path where everyone picks clean doesn't mean someone else didn't.
I assure you that 70 Lbs. is not an over estimate. I put the time required to do so in and have no reason to exaggerate. As far as not enough rain? different soil varies in its ability to maintain moisture based on particle size, slope, temp, and many many other factors. Point being there will always be somewhere which has maintained suitable levels, and that is only one variable in a very complex statue of required conditions. 99% of the people hunting Morels don't have a clue to be honest and that is fine, it is just as fun to hike around the woods and take a non-science perspective on it. Then again do people know why they grow near certain species of trees, or why they only stay for a few years, or why they even pop and do not stay in a mycelium or sclerotia stage of their life cycle so that you walk over them for years without one ever popping up? and hundreds of other questions. Well some of us want answers I have put in quite a lot of research and although there are experts with tons and tons more knowledge than me I feel I have a firm grasp on the basics of the elusive morel's nature. Does this increase my efficiency, well I believe so.
I appreciate the interest and if anyone has any specific questions I will try my best.