Today was our last day in Fond Du Lac and have sure had quite the journey. Concluding with food equity and agricultural sovereignty today we helped resource management maintain their production of local fresh foods. We even go to taste some of their produce!
Went out to the Fond Du Lac reservation today to explore various wetlands. We got to walk out onto a peat bog and learn of the native vegetation meanwhile playfully bouncing on the floating bed of moss. Aside from the adventuring, we were attacked by all sorts of bugs that ate us alive, although we got some blueberries out of it.
Went to the lake next to the university today to take a swim. Suns up Thumbs up!
Kathleen and I have began collecting data on the intermediate stages of our experimental plots. The rice plants have grown sporadically well over the break. The experiment from here on out will be smooth sailing.
Brittany and I went to kayak around the St. Luis River. We visited Clough and Spirit Island. Towards the end, we docked to swim until realizing that there might be leeches in the marshlands. We hopped back into the kayaks and started to play Kayak Disc!
We went out with the Fond du Lac water management crew this week to conduct some tests on water quality and coliform bacteria. We got to put on waders and trudge out into the marshy waters!
Fond du Lac Band is where many, like Nancy Shudlt, are working to empower the indigenous community and protect natural resources. We explored the reservation, visiting lake research sites, monitored rivers such as the one above, and rice fields where you could barely tell where the waters edge began. Our adventures with this native community will be thrilling and educational.
Today we went out into the field and collected wild rice samples to bring back to the lab. To ensure that the roots samples were anoxic, we submerged them into buckets that had Nitrogen gas pumps. We ripped off the shoots to keep the roots, making sure they were fully blocked from any oxygen. The deionized water bucket and nitrogen tank were quite heavy, though us ladies pushed through! We also have a friendly visit from the farm dog, Loki.
Taking a plane all the way from Seattle, it was my second time flying. This time by myself. Although I was now of age to actually understand what was happening and was fascinated by the physics behind this strange airborne machine, my stomach did not feel the same way. After arriving in Minneapolis, I met the team a day late. Even after this circumstance I still found the way to meet everyone on the team and make strong relationships. We went to the Cloquet forestry center to mentor children at the Native american summer camp in addition to eating good meals, and playing fun games, and going on field trips to learn about rocks, lakes and birds. I enjoyed the bird watching most of all. We drove hours to make these visits meanwhile, deepening our relationships with our team in the car along the way singing, dancing, and smiling. After settling in to Duluth, we organized lab logistics and went into the field on the first day. The best part was playing with the frogs, another first experience along side bird watching. Throughout this trip, I have had many new moments of growth and excitement that I am thrilled to look forward to as our summer begins.