Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Stretching the Mind

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.-

This past week, I have been spending time with the Resources Management Division here at Buffalo National River, also known as the consolidated Resource and Visitor Protection and Fire Management Division. I have been having a blast with Shawn Hodges, the Fishery Biologist at BUFF, and Mallory Jeffers, an emergency hire within the division.
Shawn (left) and Mallory (right) hiking to
the DO meter cache site

Thus far, we have spent most of our time in the field. We began the week by measuring the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the river and the tributaries that flow into it. Along with measuring the DO level, we also measured the flow and eventually placed two dissolved oxygen meters that we will continue to monitor. After taking the DO measurements, the next couple of days were spent obtaining water samples from the river and tributaries that feed it. We then went back to the lab to process the samples and test them for E. coli, a form of bacteria that is a major concern for BUFF.

Mallory (left) and I measuring both DO and flow
In just the few short days that I have spent with the resource management team, I have learned so much and have gained such an appreciation and a passion for the work that they do. Both Shawn and Mallory love what they do so much and it has not only been an absolute pleasure to spend time with them, but that love and passion makes the work that they do that much better. I hope to find that same passion and love for my career in the future.

The experiences that I have had this week have greatly expanded my horizons and have renewed my passion for science. My mind has been stretched and I am sure it will continue to stretch in the weeks to come.

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