Sunday, July 24, 2016

4 Years Later

Aerial Photo of the Breach
                Week 8 of the internship has been spent with resource management studying how the island has bounced back after hurricane sandy came in and rolled right over it. When the hurricane came through it caused sea water to wash over and destroy some of the dunes. In one part of the island it caused a breach due to the sand being washed away. This was what most of my time was spent studying in my week in resource management. The first part of my week I did over wash studies which is the areas where the water passed over the dunes and caused them to washout leaving new areas for plants to grow and build the dunes back up. This entailed me to carry around a camera set up which had a one meter by one meter square it would take pictures of so that the scientists could decide the vegetation coverage and see what plants are growing back. There are 8 over washes on the island, each with at least 60 plots and we were able to get two done in one day. Most of the plots are growing back strong but there are some plots that continue to get washed over when larger storms come through.
Dragging for Ticks 
                The breach is another large topic on the island, it was opened up by hurricane sandy and has since cleaned the water in the bay making it more inhabitable. It is still moving and the edges of it change with every bug storm that comes through the island. The scientists are very interested in the movement of the breach so every month they map out the edges of the breach. For this they use a Trimble which tracks your location with GPS while you walk on the water’s edge at the breach. After this you go back to the office and upload your points and it creates a line and with this data they can see that the breach is moving. They track the edge of the breach every month and have been doing so since three days after the hurricane. This is the most accurate data that there is on the breach so far.
Spring Ladies Tresses
                Other than that I got to work on setting up acoustic trackers for bats in the Williams Floyd Estate. We also set up cups for working on mosquito research, looking to see if the Zika virus is here on the island. The Floyd estate is an area that the park does tick drags as well, looking to collect deer ticks for lime disease studying. I was also on the hunt for a rare orchid called Spring Ladies Tresses that grows near my housing, we found six and have one of the largest populations of this flower in New York.
                As you can see the resource management department here is always busy, and even with all the previously stated activities from the week there was still deer studies and vegetation studies happening in order to figure out what to do with the deer overpopulation.

                Week 9 will be spent with Administration.   

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