Week 5

This past week has been crazy! We finished processing our soil samples last Thursday which was a relief but now we have to go back into the data and make all of the necessary corrections. Today we are taking a look at the percent sand, silt, and clay in each sample to see if our PSA data seems to be normal. Fingers crossed they are!

Last Friday we had our mid-summer check in where each of us had to give a short presentation and then we listened to a couple presentations on science communication. Afterward, we went camping in Willamette National Forest at the Trout Creek Campground. The drive out there was beautiful and it was really nice to be able to spend an extended amount of time outdoors. We hiked to the Tamolitch blue pool on Saturday morning which had the most beautiful sapphire colored water I’ve ever seen. Some of the interns had the guts to jump into the freezing 38 degree Fahrenheit water.

Tamolitch Blue Pool

Tamolitch Blue Pool

Some of the interns and I stayed an extra night at the campground and drove out to Bend, Oregon on Sunday. We hiked a loop that that allowed us to see some amazing views of South Sister Mountain and ended at Moraine Lake. The Cascade Lake Highway cuts through Mount Bachelor and the Sister Mountains and is definitely worth the drive. If I ever get the chance to spend more time in that area, I’ll definitely try to do the South Sister Summit hike. It would also be awesome to spend more time in Bend, which seems like a cute town and there are a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities.

South Sister Mountain

South Sister Mountain and Moraine Lake

This past Monday we had a full day in Tillamook doing the last of our field sampling. When we first got there the mosquitos were in full force. I’ve never been swarmed by that many mosquitos before it was pretty miserable for the first couple hours, but luckily they died down. We put 5 more wells in our Bay O site so we now have more soil to process in the next couple weeks.

On Tuesday, I started helping Nate (a contractor at the EPA) with his experiment which is looking at how cockles react to variations in temperature. So at 7am we had to go out to the mud flats outside of Hatfield and rake for cockles. It was actually very therapeutic and we ended up being able to collect 80 of them!

On Wednesday, we started the experiment by measuring the cockles and then putting six in each treatment (6, 14, 22, 30, 34 and 38° Celsius) for two and five hours. Yesterday we tested their response by seeing if they buried themselves in sediment within a 24 hour period after being exposed.

Cockle experiment

Cockle experiment

Next week I’ll start playing with the data from our soil samples and the hydrology data!


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1 thought on “Week 5

  1. My favorite part about this blog post was how you describe raking for cockles as therapeutic – I wonder if anyone else has ever had this same view before.

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