Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weeks 1-2: Resource Management

Greetings from Prince William Forest Park!! I am excited to finally have internet access, be able to post on the blog and let you know how things are going here at PRWI. In the next few days I will be writing up multiple post to update you on how things are going and what we have done here at PRWI so far. It has been an exciting few weeks! Our first two weeks were spent with Resource Management. We started our time with RM and underwent seasonal training with all of the SCAs that are here working in RM for the summer. It was very nice to have people our own age to work with. Our focus while we were in RM was invasive species management and water quality testing with a few other tasks thrown in here and there. Also while in Resource Management we went on many different resource hikes and were trained on GPS and GIS systems.

On the side of invasive species management we were trained on the proper use of herbicides and exotic plant identification. We were trained by Frank and Jeff from the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE). This was very hot and sweaty work but very rewarding in the end. By the end of our two weeks with resource management we had treated four areas that are being managed for invasive species one of which was hand pulling barberry bushes and if you know anything about barberry you will know that it hurts!! Everyday we would leave the park sweaty and dirty but it was alright because we felt a sense of accomplishment and that we had done our part.

While in RM we also have done a lot of water quality testing. In order for the park to keep the 5 lakes within it's boundaries open it must monitor the quality of the water. The two main test that are done are acidity and E Coli. These are both done by taking samples to the lab and either titrating them to determine the pH or using a bacteria test to determine the presence of E Coli. I find this work very interesting and looked forward to doing this after every rain storm.

GPS and GIS are used quite often in the NPS. From measuring the size of an area of invasive species that need to be taken care of to marking the spot of a hunting blind that you found while out on boundary patrol, these skills will be very useful whatever department you end up going into with the NPS. If you have not done so and have the opportunity to get familiar with this software I would highly recommend it because of the many ways you can use it in the field.

It was also very nice to get out and enjoy the woods of PRWI on our two resource hikes that we went on. It is a very beautiful park and has many hidden treasures, one of which is a plant on the endangered species list, Isotria. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent here at PRWI with RM it has been two very enjoyable weeks where we have stayed very busy and enjoyed spending time with people our own age. I look forward to the next few weeks where we will be spending some time with LE and Interp.


(Pictures to follow)

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