Follow Me: SCA member blogs from the field

Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.

(Photo above) Education Department: Summer 2012

As the summer season quickly comes to a close, everybody in the park can feel the shifting of gears.

It’s been less than a week since I left Dismal, but there are a few things that I miss, and a few things that have helped me settle into the abroad program I’m participating in this semester.

This past weekend, Hudson River Park hosted an educational event dubbed “Science on the River”. On Saturday, one of our piers was transformed into an environmental education extravaganza. Several organizations converged to educate the public on core sampling, fish of the Hudson River, benthic invertebrates, sponge parks, oysters, and we had an SCA table too!

(Photo above) The students ham it up for Dan, not that they don’t act like that on a regular basis!

Week II and the epic struggle against poison oak continues. Not to beat a dead horse, but poison oak seems to be a ruling factor in our lives right now. The first victim, our very own Richard (aka Lake aka Lagos aka Fuego) was the first to fall.

Well, today was it – my summer is officially over, and it seems a little bit surreal.

For one, the weeks absolutely flew by – but as I click through my previous posts, it’s obvious why the days rolled by so quickly.

So today, I tied up a bunch of loose ends, I sent in forms, signed papers, and packed up the camera the SCA so generously lent me for the summer.

(Photo above) Haute couture in the salt marshes

Through my internship I have had the opportunity to explore other ongoing projects at Fire Island National Seashore besides my own plant related work, and this has been a tremendous learning experience.

I would like to begin this post with a polite rescinding of all of the nice things I have ever said about greenbrier. Blackberries will always be a sworn enemy, but after this afternoon, the greenbrier has fallen out of my favor as well.

We got a slow start to the day, a bunch of refuge business fell out of the sky all at once.

This post was written by Emily Ramlow

After months of project planning and weeks of long days in the field, a stream restoration project is finally complete. Our work however, is just beginning. Every new site then needs to be monitored to create a historic log of data that will continue for about ten years and help improve future project designs.

This post was written by Lilly Stewart

I have spent a lot of time working on vegetation monitoring this summer. I find it helpful to imagine that I am journeying through the rainforests of South and Central America looking for the legendary city of El Dorado while searching for monitoring plots.

(Photo above) Gaiters, carhartts, and a tucked in shirt-check!

There’s an island out in Narragansett Bay. Recorded at over 200 acres, this island is uninhabited by humans.

(Photo above) Rain or shine, it’s easy to charge your phone!

First of all, I would like to give a shout out to all the lovely people working for all the vendors and brands I have contacted in the past few months that manage to go through the trouble of listening to or reading my oddly specific requests (Do you use USDA certified organic ingredients? Where are your grapefruits grown?

This week has been an interesting one. The intern and seasonal quarters have become eerily quiet with the departures, but the swamp has been getting a number of visiting scientists from a couple different government agencies.

The first to arrive was another hydrologist from the US Geological Survey.

(Photo above) Crew lunch on a Redwood log!

Time after time I am set loose into the wild with a group of high school students, confident in my ability to face the onslaught of weird possibilities and unending opportunities for catastrophe, ready to lead each crew to triumph and trail mastery. But as they say, the best intentions are fraught with disaster. Or do they say that?

(Photo above) This is us working on the mural, getting our groove. You can see me back a ways lining up my stencil!

After our awesome hike on Thursday, we had been tasked with painting a mural at a pier that looks like this:

As you can see, the barriers are not the most beautiful things to look at.

Sometimes its a little too easy to get caught up in what you don’t have. For me currently, the big ones are internet, cell service, and the ability to make it to the coffee pot before my twelve other bunkmates do.

(Photo above) Eastern box turtle: by Hudson River Park Wild! Tour guide, Keith Michael

Hello Everyone! The Summer SCA staff and I went on a day hike in the Staten Island Mt. Loretto State Forest and Mt. Loretto Unique Area last week, and I was inspired to write a little bit about the importance of urban green space.

(Photo above) With fellow SCA/CDIP interns Emily Zhang and Rani Jacobson. Photo credit: Emily

What does it mean when you’ve been pooped on repeatedly? By birds, of course.

The birds in question would be common terns with their largest nesting population located on 17-acre Great Gull Island, one of Long Island Sound’s barrier islands.

Great Dismal! Prime Hook! And now Back Bay- where will this girl go next?

I’ll tell you where- straight to bed.

I am exhausted.

But I had a wonderful time at Back Bay - Sunday afternoon I loaded up the truck and cruised over to Virginia Beach.

Last week I spent a bunch of time working on some elevation spreadsheets from before the 2008 Lateral West Fire. So the first part of the week basically involved collecting more data on those plots. Before the fire, a few water monitoring wells were installed and surveyed for elevations.

(Above) Sylvie appreciates a belly rub from a visitor. NPS photo.

As the first bus arrives, it starts quietly enough. A single employee from Alaska Geographic, a non-profit organization that sells Alaska-related materials, walks down our driveway to set up shop in the dog yard.