Tired and covered in mud, I was ready for the weekend on Friday afternoon.  Last week, since we didn’t have any work to do for our chamber project, I was recruited to help with a sea grass experiment out at Winant Marsh which is a few miles up the Yaquina Estuary.  The purpose of this experiment was to quantify the amount of nutrients that a particular sea grass takes up from marsh water.  As I have explained in previous posts, marshes work wonders in cleaning water particularly by removing excess nutrients.

Collecting instruments from marsh

My role in conducting this experiment was to take a water sample approximately every ten minutes during two low tides at a certain location along the marsh.  There were two other people taking samples as well at two other locations.  After our samples are analyzed, we will be able to compare nutrient uptake of a sea grass bed versus a bare stretch of the main channel.

This experiment involved extensive preparation which meant we were out in the field Monday and Tuesday deploying instruments and taking measurements.  Luckily, I did not have to partake in a night shift, but I did have to get up extremely early on Wednesday and Thursday to begin sampling.  We were there both days from about 6am to 1pm.  Thankfully the work wasn’t that strenuous, so I was able to read scientific journal articles and study for the GRE in between sampling.  Weirdly, I can say that I enjoy getting up early.  It was a cool feeling to look at my watch at 9:00am and realize that I have already been away for four hours.   Waking up at 4:45am for this experiment was a little extreme, but I like being up with the sun.  I feel like I waste time sleeping, so I am now motivated to get out of bed early and accomplish more!

My field buddies and I

Anyway, on Friday morning we headed out to collect instruments and clean up from our experiment.  This week will be spent completing data entry as well as collecting a few more crucial pieces of data.  I never thought I would say this, but I’m enjoying sitting at my desk all day.  It’s a way deserved break from all of the field work that I have been a part of these past few weeks.  I’m sure by the end of the week, I’ll be sick of it and ready for next week’s crazy field schedule!

Check out my personal blog: Sara Duncan

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About Sara Duncan

Aloha everyone! My name is Sara Duncan and I am super excited to be spending this summer in Newport, Oregon with the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program. I grew up in central Massachusetts and am currently a senior at Hawaii Pacific University studying Environmental Science. I love being outdoors doing fieldwork. In Hawaii, my main project is to collect preliminary data on an ancient Hawaiian fish pond that is scheduled to be restored in the near future. I love being out there right next to the ocean especially because it’s so warm year round. Luckily, I was able to land this awesome internship with the Oregon Sea Grant for the summer and I am now in Newport working on a project for the EPA studying the nutrient removal of the wetlands in the Yaquina Estuary. I’ll have to admit though, that I am a bit cold here – average temp in the summer is less than 65°F! Stay tuned to learn more about my experiences! Also, check out my personal blogs: and

2 thoughts on “Mud

  1. Wow, you are busy! Yes, I love the morning time! Maybe there’s a way to incorporate that feelign of accomplishment into your approach to difficult tasks.

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