In the last couple of weeks, we have really started to get into the groove of surveying visitors to Oregon’s marine reserves. We are nearly done with surveying businesses in nearby towns and will start focusing more time on data entry and analysis. Our day to day schedule varies quite a bit. We usually start with a bit of driving followed by four hours of surveying visitors at different access points to Oregon’s marine reserves. We work in pairs, so whoever is not doing visitor surveys is either surveying businesses or in the office inputting the survey data into an excel spreadsheet.
The one exception from this routine was our trip to Cape Falcon near Tillamook. That particular location is too far to travel to in one day, so Phoenix and I drove up and stayed two nights in Garibaldi. Our one survey location was Oswald West State Park, one of the most popular parks on the Oregon Coast. We were able to complete almost as many surveys in three days as the previous week and a half combined!
We interact with the public quite a bit. Most people are very friendly and happy to take the survey, especially if we mention that we are interns. People really love the coast and beautiful scenery and many are passionate about preserving it. We have gotten a little off track at times chit-chatting with visitors about marine reserves and the goals of the survey.
COVID-19 hasn’t impacted us too much especially in the last couple weeks. We spend most of our time outdoors and since we are on the coast it is usually windy. Many businesses have dropped mask requirements for fully vaccinated people and so we have been able to about surveying like its 2019 for the most part.
We didn’t get much of a chance to explore while we were at Cape Falcon but hope to on our next trip in a couple weeks. Lisette and I did make it to Drift Creek Falls near Lincoln City on one of our days off, we even made it down to where the waterfall goes into the creek. We brought my dog Thistle along and found out that waterfalls are not her favorite and neither are suspension bridges.
It has been a great few weeks and I am looking forward to the rest of the Summer!