Saturday, June 27, 2015

Second Week: Sun and Sediment

Week 2 has been, unsurprisingly, busy just as the first. However, as I get into the swing of things the amount of knowledge I have been gaining has been increasing- a good sign of weeks to come. First and foremost, this week consisted of days in the field collecting from the automated ISCO samplers that were placed at Tiffany Creek and 18 Mile Creek. The Geochemistry Team also collected some rain water samples at the beginning of the week.
When we weren't in the field we were in the lab learning and perfecting testing methods of Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP) and Total Phosphorus (TP). The most exciting things we learned from this week was that our mini-project idea (a transplant study of the exposed bedrock from the east side of the watershed with the water of the west side of the water shed and vice versa) led to interesting and usable data and plenty of further questions. After an 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM day in the lab on Thursday that tested around 70 samples, we also have plenty of data and questions to move forward in the coming weeks of analysis. This Thursday's data, paired with the work done in the mini project, and with rainfall patterns, and a map of land use, will work to determine just how much Phosphorus is coming from any given source. Our next question will be what methods (chemical or otherwise) can be done to remediate them. Dr. Kuchta and my fellow geochemist students, Austin and Jonah, have been incredibly beneficial to work with and I have learned plenty from them. I will be entering into yet another week excited for further findings!
Friday's Canoe Trip

What sort of terrible chemical sludge is in the lab? Well, it's grape Kool-Aid

A few of the samples...

Some new cow friends courtesy of Dan Prestebak!

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