Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Weeks 3&4 RM

Weeks 3 &4 I spent with Resource Management. When I think about these two weeks all I can say is WOW. I did so many cool things with the resource management team. I did jobs that I never thought I would get the opportunity to take part in and jobs I did not know existed in the National Parks Service.

The First week I spent shadowing a few different people. On Monday I arrived at head quarters and was greeted by the resource management Chief Lisa Petit. She was very nice and knowledgeable about everything that was going on in her division. She went over my schedule for the weeks I was with Resource Management and briefly showed me a few cool spots around the park. She dropped me off with two biologists Chris and Andrew and they showed me their Green House. They quickly taught me how to up pot growing plants. During that week the exotic plants team and I went out to find rare sedge called Silvery Sedge. We marked certain parts of the parks that had this sedge to indicate to visitors that these plants should be left alone. On this adventure we got to see a lot of other cool plants like witch hazel, skunk cabbage forget me knots, and honey suckles.

Green House
<Honey Suckle
Silvery Sedge>

<Skunk Cabbage and forget me knots


Later in the week we went butterfly surveying in the north side of Cuyahoga Valley to get an estimate of the different types of butterfly there are in the area. This was one of those jobs that needed to be done, yet I didn’t know existed in the parks service. The next day I worked on the trials and parking lots and took visitor counts which are essential to know how many people visit the National Parks. I learned that over 2.5 million visitors come to Cuyahoga Valley and its one of the top 10 most visited national parks.

The following week in resource management I worked with individuals who conducted water quality testing and others who monitored the wetlands in the park. When I was testing water quality in the valley I noticed that the water quality as different each day. The park is working to make the water cleaner so that everyday people can fish and get on canoes. I worked in a lab and tested the water for e-coli. Too much e-coli is bad for the water and for the animals living in it. Wetlands monitoring was different we used gps to get the size of each wetland and to note their exact locations. We completed surveys to grade the wetland on a numerical scale. The higher the score of the wetland the better, Water depth, trees, living species and dead ones all affected the score. while with the wetlands team I stubbled upon a dead coyote. I guess he didnt make it through the spring time.On My last day with resource management I worked with a man named Anthony who was a global positioning specialist. He was very educated on using gps and navigations. He uses points in the park to create park maps. I went out with me to a few waterfalls and he showed me how to mark points on the gps. The coolest thing about the gps was that it had a large antenna like backpack that connects to 12 different satellites.  Resource management was a cool division.
 The Lab

working with the GPS

Wetlands Monitoring

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