AVS= Success

Today, we did Acid Volatile Sulfide for sediment samples from Big Rice Lake (2), Twin Lakes and Sand River! This is Josh’s setup- adapted from previous SOPs. When all four stations are going, all the beakers are bubbling, and it looks like we are doing some mad science. We haven’t analyzed the data yet, but it’s looking like our method works and our prep yesterday paid off! Stay tuned for our results!


Team Stream Update <3

Last week, Team Stream went out and collected another round of sediment and water samples for analysis, as well as downloading surface and groundwater data from our instruments. This week is all about running as many of my analyses as possible so I have some good data for my paper and poster. Unfortunately, we’ve had a few snaffus with instruments, so tomorrow is going to be a long day running AVS, sediment iron extractions, and hopefully, cations! The next day should be anions and phosphate for our new samples, and then hopefully, if we have time, head to the other campus and gas chromatography to get aqueous sulfide in porewater samples. All these values are super helpful to build a story about why wild rice is so sparse on Big Rice Lake, so the more I have, the better!

Enjoy some pretty pics from the last few weeks- getting excited to finish up stuff and see everyone here in the cities next week! Good luck with the final push, everyone!

Testing the GC!

Today was testing the gas chromatography method to determine concentration of sulfide in water samples from our lakes!

So far, we are having some trouble with water vapor messing with the coils- so next time, we are going to increase the column temperature!

Hopefully, we’ll get our method to work well and get some values before the end of the summer, so we can start figuring out where the sulfide/sulfate is in our water system!

Fun Adventures in the City!

On a fun solo mission, I visited the Mill City Museum and Farmer’s market today! I got to enjoy a yummy baked good from a local vendor, after an extra long commute walking from the dorms and getting lost a few times 🙂

I explored the bookstore and found so many good books! I even got two new ones to add to my growing stash at the dorm! On my way out of the museum, I saw a sign for the Falling Water Festival, happening on the other side of the river, across the Stone Arch Bridge!

I enjoyed some incredible performances and had lovely conversations with some of the vendors. A happy accident to stumble upon the poster at the museum, for sure!


Adventures and Lab work!

This week was pretty fun! I found a secret bookstore, hiding in Dinkytown. I graciously relieved them of a few books. Also, Team STREAM presented our preliminary research at the One Water Summit, held at the St. Anthony Falls Lab in Minneapolis on Tuesday. The second picture is Diana telling the crowd a little bit about our program, and there’s a great picture of us in front of our poster on LeAnn’s post!

On Wednesday, some of us went out for game night at a local brewery. So far, we’ve been schooled in “Egyptian Rat-Screw”, “B-S”, and the Panda game is still a crowd fave. I’m not sure what the next social event will be, but this was certainly one for the books! On my way to the bus stop a few days later, I saw Sally the Gopher, outside a bar and had to snap a pic, along with the pollinators’ paradises: the mural above Starbucks and the “M” on the St. Paul campus.

Finally, this week was my first two days in the chemistry lab, getting to be a master-pippetter so that I can start processing some field samples from Big Rice Lake (and hopefully others). The styro-foam tray is the one of the fruits of my labor. These little cuvettes go into a UV-Vis to test for phosphate levels in some 2017 field samples. Though I’m not looking specifically at phosphate, I was relieved that we got some reasonable readings off these little guys that someone else will be able to use. Now I’m excited to see what next week brings!

Minneapolis/Oklahoma Shenanigans

This week was pretty eventful! Over last weekend I made a quick trip to Oklahoma to surprise my family for our tribe’s Family Reunion Festival and powwow. I got to go through the newly renovated Cultural Heritage Center, and visit my family’s allotment for the first time. (The owner had the fluffiest dog!!!) I was really excited to go to the Heritage Center and see a whole exhibit devoted to wild rice (or menomen in Potawatomi)! The diorama looks suspiciously like where we did field work last week 🙂

Zhaazhaa, Kim and I also did some Fourth of July celebrating near the Stone Arch bridge (over the Mississippi River). There was a great band, singing songs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, so there was plenty of singing along and dancing before the fireworks were set off at 10.

This coming week hopefully has some more local adventures to be had. So far, I’ve found a great little used bookstore to stock up on books, and a new coffee shop to enjoy said books, but I think we are all going to make a little more of our time here and explore the city.  I will be working on processing our sediment and water samples from our field work and get some preliminary results! Anyway, have a good week everyone!


Team Manoomin updates!

This week has been pretty eventful!

We missed seeing everyone on the conference call on Monday, but we were doing cool things! We got to start our field work! On Monday and Tuesday we visited four lakes in Mille Lacs (Lake Ogechie and Swamp Lake) and Ceded territories (Twin Lakes and Big Rice Lake), and took sediment and water samples from the latter (Big Rice Lake). We canoed on Ogechie and almost made it to the shore before we had a little tumble into the lake. Thankfully, we had a life jacket on and had successfully taken off our waders in the boat, in the middle of the lake. We got to see wild rice at both Mille Lacs locations! On Tuesday, we had a little bit more a chill day, taking hardcore naps in the SUV while Crystal (mentor) and Patrick (grad student) canoed and set up the sensors, since we were down a few canoes.

Anyway, we did our first alkalinity tests yesterday on samples from the cores that Crystal and Patrick took from Big Rice Lake off this ridiculously cool airboat from Fond du Lac. (The precarious looking boardwalk was at Twin Lakes, and it was as dicey as it looks). Probably the best part of getting out in the field is finally putting together the pieces from all the studies we have been reading and putting a face to the names and voices of tribal partners, and getting a better idea of what they are looking to get out of our studies.

For funsies, we have been exploring a little- feat.: a castle! (It’s the armory/ROTC building, but I was still excited); a mural of Dinkytown (where we are living on campus); a cherry in a spoon (at the Walker Museum and Sculpture Garden); and finally, a beautiful library (book nerd forever, this is the library across from our lab and has great study vibes).

Signing off for now! –Susie

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First few days in Minneapolis!

The Minneapolis team made it safely into the dorms and such, and I am slowly acclimating to the city. A few of us also headed to a powwow in Hinckley, Minnesota on Saturday! This week is about getting up to speed on the projects and zeroing in on our focuses for the semester. The campus is beautiful- I’m hoping to do some exploring this weekend and find some lovely benches or shady groves to study this summer!

GNR Orientation

Missing everyone already- orientation was a blast. I loved getting to know everyone, and get a little bonding in before we go our separate ways for the summer!

I can’t wait to see everyone again via video call next week!

Here’s some of my favorite photos from Montana. I still can’t get over how beautiful it was there: