First Trip to Fond du Lac

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Wild rice plants are doing well at one of the restoration sites on Perch Lake.

 

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The wild rice is now in the early stages of the emergent phase which is highly vulnerable to strong storms that cause flooding and wind gusts that can topple the young shoots
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Blueberries are starting to ripen near Rice Portage lake.

The trip to Fond du Lac was a unique and memorable experience for team Zaaga’igan. Our guide Tom H. was very knowledgeable of the history, culture, and ecological significance of wild rice and the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes region. Overall we received lots of background information about tribal natural resource management which was a great way to learn more about why it is important to revise the current sulfate water quality standards for the protection of wild rice in Minnesota. Wild rice stands are an excellent habitat for developing juvenile fish, as well as feeding and resting stops for migratory waterfowl. Tribal lands here in Minnesota host an outstanding environmental habitat for the abundance of fish, wildlife, and surface water that is vital to sustaining the cultural resources and recreational activities in which we depend on to achieve the mino-bimaadizi – the good life.

More from Montana

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>What an adventure in learning. I have to say this summer has taught me a lot and there is still so much to learn in such little time!! I am excited about it but also a little overwhelmed. The REU has been a wonderful experience. In the last couple of weeks Travis B and I have been extremely busy monitoring wells throughout the Pablo area as well as my sites at various culverts and staff gauges set up in the Mud Creek drainage. I have to give a shout out to my good buddy Kim for all of her amazingness. (If that is even a word). She has been a big part of my research and I owe her a lot for her dedication and willingness to assist. Unfortunately I don’t think she will be visiting us in Minnesota so I will use this format to thank her. THANKS KIMMY. Some of the photos included in this blog are various shots of me, Travis, and the places that we have been focusing our research on. Using culverts to determine discharge throughout the Mud Creek drainage and piezometers placed throughout the creek at different locations in order to observe the water levels in and around the creek. I have to say there are worse places to spend ones time and it has been a good adventure with lots of laughs and of course a ton of learning. I may have started this operation with little experience and know how, but will be ending it with a better understanding of how scientific research is conducted and presented. I am not sure but I think that is what this program is all about. There is much to do and as Jake posted earlier it is sure down to the wire and crunch time. Looking forward to meeting everyone in MN and seeing what everyone else has accomplished over the summer.

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Today Adrienne, Zach, Christa and I embark on a camping trip up north with Cord. We will be canoeing and probably fishing and will return sometime tomorrow afternoon. He will most likely teach us more about medicinal and edible foods that grow in the forests of this area which means I’ll probably eat some more purple flowers today and such. All sounds good and should be, you’ll here more when we return.

Alec Keiper

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By 9am Alec and I were heading to Resource Management’s biology lab to do some of the last samples for macrofossils. I finally found some really great material in the three samples I looked through today. Most of the seeds I found were new, and were not present in the other core samples.  Overall, I thought it was a wonderful way to wrap up the macrofossil analysis. Zach and Wayne worked on diatom analysis at the forestry. 

At 12:30 we met with Emi to go over out revisions on the Background, Site Description, and Methods. Emi was very help as always. Diana also met with us to check on our mental health. LOL

If you’ve been reading the blogs on Wednesday you know that they are usually really mellow days. Happy Hump Day Ya’ll!!!!

“Nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds.” –Carl Linnaeus

Adrienne Warmsley

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By 9am Alec and I were heading to Resource Management’s biology lab to do some of the last samples for plant macrofossils. I finally found some really great material in the three samples I looked through today. Most of the seeds I found were new, and were not present in the other core samples.  Overall, I thought it was a wonderful way to wrap up the macrofossil analysis. Zach and Wayne worked on diatom analysis at the forestry. 

At 12:30 we met with Emi to go over out revisions on the Background, Site Description, and Methods. Emi was very help as always. Diana also met with us to check on our mental health. LOL

If you’ve been reading the blogs on Wednesday you know that they are usually really mellow days. Happy Hump Day Ya’ll!!!!

“Nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds.” –Carl Linnaeus

Adrienne Warmsley

 

This will be short because I have already

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This will be short because I have already written this twice only to have it vanish. I am certain of operator error. Either way I am unable to spend my day writing invisible blog material. Here are a couple photos from some field work being done by myself (Chad), Kim and Travis. Placing piezometers in the creek in order to determine the gaining and losing properties of Mud Creek and Spring Creek. They are little more than steel, hollow rods pounded into the ground with perforation in the bottom to allow water to enter. Via electric tape once can measure the level in stream and also get a sense of what is going on outside the streams banks. Locating the piezometers near each other, one inside the stream and one outside allows for understanding of the groundwaters characteristics. Nice warm days to be dipping ones toes into cool streams…ImageImage

The Great Mud Creek Adventure

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Travis B.Culvert of MysteryphotoJune 26, 2013 the adventure begins. Finally Travis B, (not going to try and spell that last name), Kim Davis, and myself C Joe Reynolds made it out for the afternoon on The Great Mud Creek Adventure. We visited several sights on this cloudy but rain absent afternoon. The grass was tall, turkeys, deer and raptors were enjoying their day much like ourselves. We set out to take some measurements in order to gain some knowledge about Vertical Hydraulic Gradients along the reaches of Mud Creek that are of interest to my particular study. Kim and Travis were a big help. I am realizing that much of the field work that I must perform this summer is going to rely heavily upon having the assistance of others. I need some interns of my own. Probably not in the budget though, so through sweet talking and some bribery, I just may be able to get these two experts to help me out on a regular basis. I don’t have the pictures yet, but will include them of the head gate of Mud Creek where our adventure got pretty exciting yesterday, (or at least for me it did). If you can imagine water pouring out of a small gate, with immense pressure, all converging on the opening of a culvert, and a person standing in this incredibly intense water current trying to use a tape to measure the culvert while wearing hip waders that are filling up, then you can imagine what Kim and Travis had to witness. It was slightly comical and a bit dangerous. I ended up with wet drawers, soaked wallet, and a bit unsteady about the thought of rocketing through a culvert over unknown rocks and materials while trying to breath air and survive the deluge of whitewater. It would be a lot like trying to stuff a marshmallow into a slot machine at ninety miles an hour with water pressure if I were to have lost my footing. Anyhoo, nothing too extreme happened in the end and we moved on to a couple of other sights where the water was less likely to take a life and obtained some good data. We are taking elevations on each side of these culverts, using a flow meter to gather data on velocity, also measuring some distances, so that eventually the Vertical Hydraulic Gradient (VHG) will be known at each location. This, along with some piezometers that we just received today, will be placed along the creek to eventually offer us insight into the groundwater and surface water interactions. This project will likely turn out to be a super fun experience and as it evolves, and we don’t get eaten by anymore bears or drowned in a culvert, we just might learn a thing or two…

After much preparation we finally took our first

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After much preparation we finally took our first core sample yesterday. It took up to 4 people to get core samples through the thick and hard sediment of Gete-niso-bajishkaa-Zaaga’igan (the ancient triangular lake). It was exciting and fascinating to see the samples change from a rich dark reddish brown to a glistening grey from the anaerobic environments. The anticipation for information contained within the samples still lingers.

Today was a more relaxing day after two consecutive days in the field. The REU students were greeted with a problem solving challenge early in the morning by Christa. Later in the afternoon we received lessons on things that can be found in site descriptions by Emi.  A small group of us went to the community center right after to relieve some stress and workout our bodies after using our minds all day. 

Adrienne Warmsley

ImageThe first core we took was an exploratory one.