Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kites are cool!

Creating our own aerial photography is one of the things I am learning this summer. This consists of flying a kite and attaching a camera to it, via a rig, setting it to automatically take continuous images. This meant testing out our 7 foot and 9 foot kites this week! Getting the kite to take off was quite the challenge at first but, thanks to consistent wind this week, I’ve gotten the hang of it, plus its really fun! We made a rig out of a water jug, pool noodles, and rubber bands. There were high hopes that the kite would be able to carry the rig with a digital camera to it but quickly learned it wouldn’t when we were testing it out at 11 PM one night. We did, however, attach an iPhone to it (with no protection whatsoever which was super scary and we were nervous it was going to fly off and crack), and successfully the kite took it away with no problem. Here, we learned that we needed to get a lighter camera, that will hopefully get here next week so we can finally start taking pictures. By the end of these couple of days experimenting with the kite, I can say that I’m pretty darn good with a kite. I need to put these skills to display and join some sort of kite club! If that's even a real thing. 

I’m also learning all sorts of GIS techniques I didn’t even know existed (which shout to those people who make YouTube tutorials about these sort of things, keep doing your thing its helping people like me out!) Yes, it can definitely get frustrating, especially when the program decides to crash in the middle of your work, but I’m learning things that could potentially help me out in future situations. We’re using GIS to obtain our site locations of where we would like to do field work and take our aerial images of buffer zones, to determine whether it is or isn’t healthy, and take water quality data. This means, Macroinvertebrate testing! I cannot wait to learn about this procedure when we start testing for water quality. This method basically tells you if water is polluted by the organisms that are not present. Its field work that I think I can gain several skills from that sounds super fun! Plus, I’ll be able to learn some biology information from doing this type of work. Though, shout out to the biology team this week for teaching me how to use a drill!
Apart from that I would love to learn a little bit from each team to gain a basic understanding of what their project consists of and what it takes to accomplish their projects. Such as learning what questions you need to ask people and surveying techniques from the anthropology and sociology team. Also, hope to learn more about what people have to say about their lake, what they know, and what they would like to see change. Learning more about the community itself. But this isn’t everything I want to learn and will learn these next couple of weeks. There’s things I won’t even know I want to learn until I want to learn about them and there’s things I’ll learn about I didn’t expect to. Regardless, there’s no doubt I’m going to learn a lot this summer!

                                                  Photo taken by Madison Biggs 

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