Sampling is very simple. The boat drops a net on the beach. After that they drive the boat away from the beach dropping the net as it goes along. When the all of the net is out of the boat they swing the boat around and hand the other end of the net to another person that is standing on shore as well. The two people that are holding the net not will pull the net in. When we finally get the entire net in we take all of the fish species that we just caught and put them into buckets according to species. Then we measure them, weight them, we make some of them throw up, and we keep some for samples only if they have a coded wire tag (CWT). A CWT is like a barcode that is inserted into fish when they are born at some fisheries. The making the fish throw up part: well we fill a syringe with seawater and inject the water into the fished stomach and it makes them throw up. This will help the biologists determine just what exactly the salmon are eating. Today, being my first day, I wanted to look my best and make a good impression. However, we were in the field today wearing chest-high waders. When I got home, my dress shirt and my slacks were not a pretty sight. I had to pay $8 to park here today!! Can you believe that? When we got back from the field Larry gave me a bus pass good for 3 months. I will stop by the library today on the way home and get a schedule.
Friday, June 7, 2002
Yesterday, we started out with paperwork. Some of the paper work that we did yesterday wasnít completed. I missed the first bus today and I had to take the one just after it. I showed up about 15 minutes later but it is ok, I stayed 30 minutes longer. We started out with the paperwork that we didnít complete. After that, Larry showed up around the entire building. This building has like 9 floors on it. Larry walked us through every floor and introduced us to every body that might have some importance on us throughout the summer. Right there, ½ of the day was gone. Larry explained to us during the introductions that he will require us interns to conduct 2 informational interviews per week, one weekly report per week, one final report, and a presentation. I have a good idea about what I am going to do my report on right now. I think that I am going to do my report on the typical route that a drop of water would follow from the point when it is dropped in the Tolt River Watershed through a persons house and then out to the Westpoint wastewater treatment plant. After lunch, Larry took us down to an outdoor equipment place. He, or the county, bought us some brand new waders, boots, and rain gear to use while we are here. When we returned from that, Larry dropped us off at the King County federal building so we could get our name tags. When we returned to the office, some guy set up our Internet accounts. He showed us how to do certain things and told us that we will get email accounts in a week or so. After the shift was over, Larry and I sat down to talk about my learning agreement. I also sent an email to Nancy telling her everything. Also, I asked her what I need to do to get credit.
Monday, June 10, 2002
Today we met another intern. It was his first day. We sat around for a bit while he was filling out his paper work. Larry introduced us to a couple of more people in the office. Larry told us that we were going out to Carkeek Beach, Golden Gardens, and Westpoint to help the clam diggers. When we arrived at Carkeek beach we looked for the clam diggers. After a while we realized that they probably had already finished here and went to Golden Gardens. When we arrived at Golden Gardens they were just on their way out. We were able to stop them and get a run down on what they are doing and why. Basically they are digging up a species called Saxidomus gigantea. Commonly known as the butter clam. Look below at the pictures:
At each site they try to get a specific number of clams and a certain amount of tissue. In this case they wanted to collect 10 clams and 100 grams of tissue.
Finally, we were able to catch up with them at Discovery Park over by the Westpoint wastewater treatment plant. The people that we were with were Dr. Kevin Li and David Robinson. After we got all of clams that they needed for their study, Dr. Li gave us a run down on clam anatomy. Dr. Li told us about how they take their samples in the Lab. When they are done, they put all of the tissue from the shells into a blender and shred them. This will cause an average of the tissues rather than 10 different samples. Larry needed to have the truck back into the office by 2pm so we had to leave a little early. I came back to the office and did a little bit of office work. While I was doing office work I got the chance to talk with Bob Keating. He told me that he has room in his truck tomorrow to do some gauging. I almost forgot, when we were at Golden Gardens, Dr. Li told us about the Purple Martian.
The Purple Martian is the largest sparrow in North America. However, it is a species that migrates from South America. Its species number has been falling drastically due to the decline in ideal nesting locations. Dr. Li showed us several of the places that he has put up nesting sites for this specific species.
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Today was the best day so far. I went out with Bob Keating. He is a person that works in the gauging office. We did six different sites. The first site that we went to was a site that is unmeasurable.
So we just did not waste our time with it. The reason that it is not measurable is because the river is almost at its mouth. There is backwash from Lake Washington making the water almost stand still. After that we went to the opposite site of the river up toward Lake Sammamish. There are several pieces of equipment that we used to measure several different things. We used the crane, pigmy flow meter, stow-a-ways, loggers, YSI meters, and Swoffer 2000.
The crane is a device that measures water depth and velocity. Today I did not get to use it because the pygmy flow meter does the same thing but only in shallow water (less than 4 feet). All of the spots that we studied today were less than 4 feet. A stow-a-way is basically a long term thermometer. All you need to do is put the thing in the water and let it sit. It will automatically take temperature readings every 15 minutes. The ones that we were using could take readings for almost 300 days. However, they like to take readings and reset the device every month or so. Loggers are basically the same as the stow-a-ways except they are not fully submerged. In that case they measure the stage(depth) of the river as well. With loggfers and stow-a-ways, to get the information all you need to do is hook a certain type of laptop up to its internal CPU and, using the proper computer program, download the information. YSI meters are simple devices. All you need to do is put the reader in the water and in minutes it can read water temperature, dissolved oxygen content, and turbidity. Finally, the Swoffer 2000 is what measures the depth of the water. The pygme flow meter is attached to the Swoffer 2000. While the pigmy flow meter is reading the velocity, the person can be recording the depth. Here is how all of this works. First you need to string a tape measure across the river and get its width. Then you need to decide how many measurement you want/need to get. In one case the river was 46 feet wide and we wanted 23 measurements, therefore, we took measurements every 2nd foot. We visited 3 sites on the Sammamish River and 3 sites on Cold Creek. Today I was able to interview Bob Keating throughout the entire day for interview number 1.
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Today was kind of a boring day. I guess that Larry was unable to get us in the field today or something. There was a lot of moving today because us interns need some office space. I got a crash course on some of the PC basics and Microsoft Outlook. Just before lunchtime, Larry wanted us to join him in his office meeting, or something. There were about 20 people in this tiny room. All of the staff members got a chance to introduce themselves. I showed up right in the middle of the introductions. I did not have a good explanation to why I was late, I am glad that Larry did not force me to make up a bad one. Each person had their own project that they were to report on. Following the meeting, Kollin Higgins grabbed three of us interns to catalog the fish and stomach samples of the samples that me took last Thursday. That wasnít too hard. We just looked at the tag that was with the sample. Wrote on a piece of paper the species, sample number, and site it was collected from. Then we loaded all of them into boxes. That took until the end of the day.
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Today I went out with Eric Ferguson. Eric works with groundwater. Today we visited 4 sites in Redmond. Two of the sites were private and two of the sites were private. When we were out there we were measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, flow, and volume. The volume of the wells is calculated by taking pi by the diameter of the well divided by 2 squared times the total depth of water Ė the total depth of the well. Or you can look at it this way p (d/2) (wd Ė wl). Everything else is calculated with an instrument. The pH meter measures the pH, the DO meter measures dissolved oxygen, the turbidity meter measures turbidity, and Iíll bet that you can guess what the conductivity meter measures. While we were at the sites we let the well drain a couple of times and fill back up. Most of the time the well will fill up as you are emptying it. We take samples using the equipment above. We calculate flow by filling up a 5-gallon bucket and timing it.
While we were in the field I was able to get an interview with him for interview number 2. I just had finished a coke today when we arrived at Redmond well 5. I was able to get a bottle of untreated (unchlorinated) water. I was told that even though it wasnít treated is was good water.
Friday, June 14, 2002
Today was a very slow day. Mostly I typed my weekly report to turn in to Larry and Nancy. I did have an HTML class that lasted about an hour.
Monday, July 15, 2002
Today is the most dreaded day of my life. Today I get to have all 4 wisdom teeth removed. My appointment is at 3 pm. Therefore I have to leave a little bit early. Only 30 minutes early to be exact. Today I basically worked on the peer review interviews. I got them about ½ way done. I actually got smart. I talked to about 20 people. Then the last person that I talked to said that I should send out an email. Which is what I did. So I just sat next to the computer and waited for replies.
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Because of the Wisdom teeth removal yesterday I was unable to make it to work today. I was a little high on the drugs that they gave me.
Wednesday, July, 17, 2002
I am back in the office today. Today I sat next to the computer and I sent out another email requesting people to reply to me telling me their backgrounds. When I got here this morning the count was 91 people had replied and there were a total of 391 employees on my list. My lunchtime that list had increased by 5 names and I had 396 names. And by lunchtime, I have 165 replies. I talked to Rob Blomquist today. He told me that there was a big event coming up with the buoys on Lake Washington. Tomorrow there will be another buoy going to be put in near the middle of Lake Washington. So we will talk about that tomorrow.
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Today I was out on Lake Washington with Rob Blomquist among others. In the past there has always been 5 buoys on Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Three on Washington and two on Sammamish. About a year ago the center buoy on Lake Washington got hit by a boat and was damaged. Today was the day that we finally got the buoy back to working order and we were able to deploy it. I did have my video recorder with me and I got some great footage. Anyway, we had to carry the buoy on a boat trailer to the site that we were going to deploy the buoy. Once to that particular site, we had to put the buoy together and we had to run a test of the batteries as well as all of the on board equipment. When that was completed we had to pull the buoy behind a boat at about 5 mph to the exact spot on the lake. The buoy is located about 100 yards north of the I-90 Bridge on Lake Washington. On my way home across the bridge I noticed that if you look, you can see the buoy from the bridge. Once we got the buoy hooked up to the anchors we had to run a field test on the equipment to ensure that it was running properly. Unfortunately, the equipment wasnít running properly, however, it was running. Therefore, all we could do it just wait until we can get out here to fix the problem. The problem was that some of the readings were coming back with extremely high or low numbers. Rob just figured that it was the end of the day and he didnít was to mess with it anymore today.
Friday, July 19, 2002
Today I am taking off. If you are reading this I will already be in Sacramento. I left yesterday after work. I will see yaíll on Tuesday!
Monday, July 22, 2002
Today I was still out of the office. I am coming back from Sacramento today.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Today was my first day back to work in a couple of days. I still needed to finish working on the peer review interviews. Some of the people are hard to get a hold of so instead of sending an email to the whole entire department, I am going to be sending out individual emails to each of the people. I worked for a while on my secondary assignment (Environmental Laboratory Summary). I finished most of the assignment. The only thing that I need to work on is the Trace Metals Section and I have to wait until this Friday to completely finish because part of the assignment has a section that will describe my personal experience and my personal sample that I will be collecting.
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Today I arrived at work at the same time that I usually do. Today was different however. There was a yellow piece of paper that was taped to my computer monitor. It said, "Corey, Would you please go Beach Seining with Kollin and Jim, Wednesday Morning? Thanks, Jones". If you remember way back to my very first weekly report I described the beach-seining project. We visited three sites today: Sea Hurst, Carkeek, and Richmond Beach. At each site there are two pulls that we do. Here is how it works. There is a couple of people on the beach and a couple of people on the boat. One person drives the boat, the other person hands one end of the net to a person on the beach. They let the net out about 100 feet from the shore and then hand the other end of the net to a different person on the beach that is almost 200 feet from the other person holding the other end of the net. We pull that net into shore hoping to catch some fish. The objective of the study is to fill in the gaps in our understanding of juvenile salmonid timing, distribution, abundance, and habitat utilization in King County near shore waters. At each beach seining site we did that two times. There are pictures of the fish we caught in my final report.
What it is that they do is they measure all of the fish. When we see a salmonid we check it to see if it is clipped (most fisheries cut off the dorsal fin) or to see if it has been coded wire tagged (CWT). The CWT is a little barcode (for lack of a better word) that fisheries insert into the fishís noses. This is easily detectable with a metal detector. If a fish is found with a CWT it is kept and sent to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine where the fish comes from. We also are trying to find out what these salmon are eating. So at each site we try to get at least 5 samples of the stomach content of the salmon. So we only kill a couple of fish. They might leave hungry but they are alive! More pictures of the beach seining experience are in the final report, as are the locations.
Thursday, July 25, 2002
Today I worked on finishing up the peer review list, this weekly report, and my environmental lab summary. At about 9am John Koon came into my office and asked me if I wanted to go to a couple of levy sites with him. So of course, I agreed to accompany him to his sites. We visited two sites. Both of them were on the Snoqualmie River in the City of Snoqualmie. The two sites were probably a mile from one another. These sites were levies that were implemented about a year or two ago. When they put these levies in they plant species that are native to the area. In this case several cedar and douglas fur trees. When the trees were small they needed a little help to stand upright. So they put stakes in the ground and wrapped ropes around the trunk of the tree. These trees were now as tall as I was. Therefore, we had to dig out the stakes (we either pulled them out by hand or yanked them out by attaching them to the truck). Since there were invasive plant species in the area one could assume that they would move into the area. That is exactly what happened. So we went through and we cut down all of the species that were not supposed to be there. I would tell you what kind of plants they were but I can only remember them by the look; I cannot remember their names. We did basically the same things at both sites. Also, due to the summer sun, we had a water pump that we placed into the river and we watered the plants on the levy. By the way, I got stung in two places by a yellow jacket (Vespula sps.).
Friday, July 26, 2002
Today I came into work and I got ready to do some interviews. Around 9am, Larry got to me and told me that it was time to head out to the lab. Today was the day that I was scheduled to tour the lab and pick up my sample bottles for my groundwater sample that I will be collecting this weekend. I was at the lab for about 3 hours and within those three hours I visited all 5 sections of the lab: Trace Organics, Trace Metals, Aquatic Toxicology, Conventions, and Microbiology. The person that I met with was named Katherine Bourbonais. We walked through every one of the labs as well as the check in area, the offices, and storage areas. As we were walking through the labs she was talking about what each lab does and some of the current projects that they are running right now. The Trace Organics lab is usually looking for oils, gases, pesticides, and solvents. Aquatic Toxicology does exactly what the name entails. Trace Metals looks for things like mercury, iron, lead, etc. The Conventionals Lab analyses things from pH, chlorophyll, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, dissolved, carbon, total suspended solids, etc. Microbiology is looking for bacteria, viruses, parasites, tissues, and algae. I arrived back to the lab around 3:00 or so. Larry had an all intern meeting that we were supposed to attend. We watched a couple of the interns present their final project.
Monday, August 05, 2002
Today I was out in the field with Bob Keating again. We visited many different sites in the Bear Creek / Sammamish River Watershed. Many of the sites we just downloaded the data logger and checked the equipment. However at three sites we did get out the gauging equipment to do some flow measurements. These sites were at Bear Creek where it passes under Avondale Road in between Redmond and Woodinville, Danielís Creek where it passes under the Woodinville-Duvall Road, and Cottage Lake Creek on Union Hill Road in Redmond. At two of those sites he did let me do some of the measurements while he was watching. I was not in the office today because Bob picked me up from my house and returned me back there in the afternoon.
Tuesday, August 06, 2002
Today I was again doing fieldwork with Jessica Kuchan. She is another intern that has been here for a while. Within that time that she has been here she has only worked in the Watershed and Ecological Assessment Team (WEAT). She graduated from Gonzaga University about one year ago and she is looking on going to graduate school. Anyway, remember the bug training that we did last week? Well, we did the real thing today. Jessica and I had about six sites on our list and we hoped to accomplish four out of the six. The area that we were working in was the Swamp and North Creek Watershed. In the end there were tow sites that we could cross off of out list because they were dry or had too low of a flow to do the sampling. We did complete a total of two sample sites. The problem was that Jessica being optimistic brought along 4 bottles for the samples to go in. Unfortunately, at the two sites that we sampled, there was so much to sample that we needed to use two bottles per site. I am actually enjoying this bug sampling.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Today, I was doing more fieldwork. Again, I was doing the bug sampling. Today, I was with Melissa Boles. We were sampling in the Bear Creek Watershed. As a matter of fact, two of the sites that we went to were the same sites that I went to on Monday with Bob. We had five sites that we could have gone to but we were only able to get to three of them. The sites were Bear Creek just off of Avondale, Danielís Creek where it passes under the Woodinville-Duvall Road, and Cottage Lake Creek where it passes under 132nd avenue, which is just off of Avondale Road in Redmond. I am really getting a feel for this kind of fieldwork. It is pretty fun as well as interesting.
Thursday, August 08, 2002
Today, I was again doing some fieldwork with Kari Osterhaug who is the person that is heading up this project. Today we were in the cities of Issaquah and Bellevue. The first location that we went to was Black Nugget Creek in Issaquah. This creek was extremely concentrated with bugs. There was some that were more than 3 inches long. Kari told me that in the past that this creek had scored the highest. Just down creek, Black Nugget Creek meets up with the North Fork of the Issaquah Creek. That was our next site. This site is important because there is a new road or highway or something that is going in just up stream. Therefore, the health of the stream is extremely important. As far as we could tell, there were enough bugs to classify this stream as fair-good. The final stream that we sampled was an unnamed tributary to Lake Sammamish. We were able to cross two sites off of our list. Beaver Lake Creek had run dry for the summer so it was not good. The other was named Vasa Creek. It is a creek that runs from Bellevue into Lake Sammamish. What was funny is that Vasa Creek was completely dry about 5 miles from the mouth. Then we checked it just as it passes under Interstate 90 and it was completely dry there too. But when we looked at it about 100 feet from the Lake it was running. However, we were unable to sample it because we did not have permission from the owner. Kari is going to look into that and maybe we can get permission.
Friday, August 09, 2002
Today was the one-day this week that I am able to get my paperwork done. Up until today I had not started my weekly report, interviews, or my final report that is due to Nancy next week. So today that is exactly what I did all day.
Monday, August 26
Today I came all the way into work and I started my day the normal day. When I opened my email I had a reminder message that popped up. It said EPA Conference @ UW. So I came all the way into work early for nothing. From there I hopped on a bus that took me to the University District and I headed for the conference. There were a total of 9 speakers. I will tell you the truth all of the speakers had their high points and all of them had their low points. David Fluharty was the first speaker. David is a professor at the University of Washington. He has a PhD from the University of Michigan. His presentation was titled "Ecosystem-based watershed restoration." The second speaker was named Derek Poon. He is with the EPA and he is one of the people that is responsible for this conference happening. Derek got his PhD from the Oregon State University. His presentation was titled "A conceptual overview of watershed restoration." The third person on the agenda was Tim Beechie from the NOAA-NMFS. He got his PhD from the University of Washington and presented information on "Role of watershed assessment in salmon recovery planning." Following that, Phil Roni was up to bat. His presentation was "A review of stream restoration techniques and a hierarchical strategy for prioritizing restoration in the Pacific Northwest." He also got his PhD from the University of Washington. Steve Ralph from the EPA and NPS was next. He was talking about "Putting Monitoring First: designing accountable ecosystem restoration and management plans." Ralph Rogers from the EPA was next. He got his BS from Ohio State and his MS from Portland State. He talked about the "Importance of wetland in watershed planning for salmon recovery." Jim Wigington followed him with a talk about "Landscape, watershed, and marine derived nutrient influences on coastal Oregon wild salmon." He has his PhD from Virginia Tech. The final presentation was from Rich Horner. Rich is another professor at the University of Washington. His presentation was on the "Effects of impervious surface on watershed hydrology, watershed health, and water quality, and technology to mitigate such effects.
Tuesday, August 27
Today was another one of my office days. I finally finished up my final reflective report for Nancy. I will be printing a copy of it and turning it in tomorrow. Also, I worked a little bit on the RUSS Buoy Manuel. Not too much like I said, Rob told me that I donít know enough about the buoys to actually do kind of technical writing on them. However, Rob told me that what he does need me to do is keep the digital camera handy any time we head out to the buoys because then he can add the pictures and diagrams to the manual when he is producing it.
Wednesday, August 28
Today I had one and only task. Today was the day that Larry and I set aside about an hour to show my final PowerPoint presentation. I worked on perfecting it all day. Around 2 pm, Larry came in to see it. After we completed the show, he gave me some pointers on how to make it even more perfect. I will be working on that with any of my free time.
Thursday, August 29
Rob and I headed out from the office at about 9:30. Around 10, we grabbed the boat and headed for Lake Sammamish to download SamN and to check out the pump on SamS. Wind was blowing at about 15 mph, generally from WSW, which made the day more interesting, but it wasnít a problem because we were doing no work on the buoy itself. The download at SamN was uneventful. When we arrived at SamS, we found the profiler visible at about 2 meters below the surface of the water. We brought it up, and it rose very quickly. The first thing that we did was a pressure test and found it working at about 35 psi, where normal working pressure should be around 80 psi. This would explain why it has been timing out before it can profile. It is simply that the motor was moving too slow. We popped the cover off the dry cylinder and adjusted the potentiometer to provide 80psi. We put the cover back on and sunk the profiler. We were off the lake at about 12:30. Around 1:30, Rob checked the status of SamS and noticed that it was profiling perfectly.
Friday, August 30
Today I was out on the boat again with Rob. We left the office with Melinda on our way to get the boat, then, out to WashS. It is having the exact opposite problem that SamS was having. SamS was moving too slow and WashS is moving too fast and overshooting its targets. We arrived at WashS to find the profiler sitting right where it is suppose to be. We brought it to the surface to check its pressure. To do that we put a pressure checker onto th hose and turned the pump on. We were surprised to find that the pump was running at 200 psi. We opened the cylendar up and readjusted the pump the same way that we did yesterday. We reset the pressure to 160 psi and ran it through a test run. It was still overshooting its points but, it wasnít doing it as bad as it was. Rob will see what he can do on Tuesday.