I’ve created three drafts of this post but none have made it through! Here are some shots of the sulfide bottles and root samples that we prepped for analysis. We acquired many blisters from stopping the 92 bottles above. The spaghetti-like mass in the weigh boats are our wonderful dried wild rice root samples that are being weighed to determine their dry mass. This data goes into an equation that let’s us determine AVS content per gram of root. We’re almost done analyzing our samples!
It seems like this past week and a half was saturated with a scary story after story. That, and Pokemon Go took over everyone’s data between the ages of 9-30 (including my roommates!!).
The larger problems of the world were juxtaposed by our busy and productive week in Duluth. We were successful in finishing sampling for Marissa’s and my part of the project. Having finished a draft of our introduction section of the paper, our thesis statement,
sampling, beginning the methods section, and even starting analysis on our samples, it feels like our progress has amped up by a ten-fold!
Thank you Tom for showing us around and sharing an incredible amount of information with us!
“When the universe provides you with something that gives you life, you are obligated to give back. You are always supposed to take care of it.” This thought gave us a much richer perspective as to why the manoomin is important and needs to be protected. The wild rice is used in every ceremony from babies’ first ceremonies, to their final one. Aside from the cultural importance, the wild rice is unique to the region and key part of the ecosystems.
Wednesday, on a spur of the moment decision, I decided to join Nathan and a team of undergrads on a sampling marathon all around the state. We traveled to at least 15 different locations to take surface water, groundwater and sediment samples followed by filtering samples at the end of the day. Most of the wells that we traveled to required small cross-county treks through muddy wetlands with healthy mosquito populations– to say the least. We would wake up at the crack of dawn to hit the road and stay up late to filter, prep, and label the water we collected. Most of the time we would improvise a lab where we spent the night. It was a worthwhile trip and I learned a lot through hands-on practice, but I have to say that I was very happy to have a full-night’s sleep in a comfy bed when I got back.
WordPress wouldn’t let me upload the short videos I took, so I included the Google Drive links:
Pelicans were just one of the many birds we observed in the field. Other fauna included a porcupine, deer, a small fox, frogs, and environmentalists in their natural habitat.
Nathan taking a sediment core sample by hand. Most of the time we had to wear knee-high rubber boots or waders to get close enough to take the samples. At one point, one of the other students had to actually dive into the water to collect the cores.
This is Jack, our friend who stayed with us the whole trip. Can anyone identify what he/she is?
One of the well sites was hidden in very tall cattails. You can’t tell but Nathan is walking through the plants searching for the well site:
Our last morning collecting samples with the team. It was a beautiful morning!
The roommates and I decided to take advantage of some downtime and explore one of the many nearby parks in Duluth. Chester Park runs along a creek from our apartments to Burrito Union– our very first stop when we arrived in Duluth. Apparently, Duluth, MN was ranked one of the top cities in the nation for people who liked the outdoors! The creek was also great place to peek at the geology of the region, including the ancient lava flows in this picture.
This is a bit tardy but….
Yesterday was our fist day collecting samples in the fields with Sophie and Dan. The samples included sediment cores and wild rice roots. We may have gotten a bit muddy, but it was well worth the great weather, bald eagle sightings, and an interactive experience with some large carp!
Friends from UC Berkeley: please pardon my Stanford shirt and Cal hat combo.