This summer we had yet a smaller group than in previous years, with students
taking from 2 to 12 credits of
Co-Op Education experience (Geog. 490). Occasionally, we have interns signed up under Enst. 490 and graduate
REM 590. This year's team included the following, listed alphabetically by last name.
WARNING: FOR BEST VIEWING OF THIS PAGE, PLEASE set your size of the window to be equal on the right to the margin on the left of the table below.
SUMMER QUARTER - 2002
|Brett Angel||City of Bellevue Parks
Kelsey Creek Farm, Kelsey Creek Park
|Water and Land Resources Division, King County Department of Natural Resources||
|Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments||
|Travis Goodfellow||Potelco, Inc.||Redmond, WA|
|Department of Land Use and Transportation, Douglas County||
E. Wenatchee, WA
Travis Van Noy
Summer Quarter grades were due August 19, 2002 and some of you received an Incomplete. You are supposedly safe with Financial Aid as long as you complete your journal reports and file a Final Project Evaluation Report of your summer internship experience with me in time for me to turn in a change of grade no later than mid September. Please get your final project report in as well as your daily journal reports so I can change the grade, or there is no guarantee financial aid will honor your request. To be eligible for financial aid, you must have completed 6 hours of work during the summer, if you were enrolled. [This is now an old announcement, as change of grade reports have been submitted and incompletes removed.]
WHAT DO I DO FOR THIS FINAL EVALUATION REQUIRED REPORT?
You can read the presentation on the web that Career Development Services provided for you, which suggests you follow the back of your contract form, plus some other information about the experience. For details, follow the URL below by clicking here: www.cwucareer.com to Student and to Student Workbook for a nice digital version of the expectations. Address each of the points in the Learning Objectives and Learning Activities. Evaluate which were completed, how successfully, and comment on any not done and why. It is likely you have done much more than you anticipated at the outset. Write an interesting evaluation of your job experience, following the guidelines of the web Student Workbook. Please type and email it to me. You can also look at the year 2000 or 2001 reports by following the link, http://www.cwu.edu/~nancyh/interns/interns2001.html or http://www.cwu.edu/~nancyh/interns/interns2000.html that will also link you to another place on the web at Hanford, for Community College participants--one of my students that year was taking CWU credits, but in the Community College program from YVCC: CC-LINK. Many of you now know Rose Ferri, who entered CWU for continued undergraduate work in Anthropology.
INTERNS FOR THIS YEAR 2002--Descriptions
of experiences in their own words
The interns experienced many different opportunities this summer, and I have chosen selected items from their journals to present here. As well, you can find elsewhere in this web report their final project reports.
Each student completes a contract for the internship and, at the outset, a list of planned Learning Objectives and Learning Activities are written on the contract form. Often the reality is that changes occur on the job, and job activities are added or deleted by circumstances. Final Reports then become an actual final evaluation of the summer's experience, as it unfolded.
The daily journals are sent weekly to the faculty advisor as part of the contract agreement. A student signs up for credits for summer school and can take up to 12 credits for work done during the summer. The expected formula is one credit for every 40 hours put in during the entire quarter.
Details for 2002 will be presented in reverse alphabetical order by last name of the intern.
Travis Van Noy, Kittitas County Conservation
District, Ellensburg, WA
* Practical application of software in agriculture, including GIS and other microsoft programs
* Map production and alteration for landowners, focusing on the need for more efficient irrigation
* Helping with the management of GIS, data, with some data entry
* More data collection in the field, as well as more independent field work
* Assisting in the design of detailed field projects
* Use of GIS and other manuals and textbooks
* Use of the Trimble GPS manual
* Extensive field work, including the use of flow metering and water sampling, as well as the
installation of soil moisture monitors on specific job sites.
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM TRAVIS VAN NOY'S JOURNAL
Stacey Smith, Dept. of Land Use and Transportation,
Douglas County, E. Wenatchee, WA.
* Gain knowledge of planning department responsibility and goals.
* Learning about the GMA and comprehensive plan.
* Working with the capital facilities plan
* Adding or creating data for inventory
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM STACEY SMITH'S JOURNAL
Travis Goodfellow, Potelco, Inc., Redmond,
* Gain drafting experience in the engineering field
* Obtain an overall knowledge of how the power grids work in the Greater King County Area
* Become comfortable with the industry standards for drafting using AutoCADD
* Hopefully be introduced to and learn about Microstation
* Creating maps for current projects Potelco is involved in. These maps will be given to crews
so that they can find the proposed work site and also see what type of work is going to be done
and what, if any, customers will be affected by the work.
* Other tasks include pulling already created maps and fixing them for crews, going to job sites.
The maps will show specifics of the job site, and when needed, a data base entry will be updated.
* All maps will be created using AutoCADD 2002 in conjunction with manual drafting techniques.
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM TRAVIS GOODFELLOW'S JOURNAL
Erin Dahlquist, Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments,
* To have a better understanding of how the planning office environment operates, and the types
of jobs that are dealt with within.
* To understand the processes and project developments that are handled by the Council of Governments.
* To gain experience with planning projects.
* To help with little odds and ends that need to be completed around the office.
* Working with GIS to develop maps for presentation on planning projects (i.e., proposing possible
recreational trail sites).
* Putting together PowerPoint presentations to aid the planners in the office on their presentations.
* Doing land use inventories to construct a comprehensive plan for Wahkiakum County.
* Field checking existing maps before they are reviewed.
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM ERIN DAHLQUIST'S JOURNAL
Corey Bailey, Water and Land Resources Division,
King County Dept. of Natural Resources, Seattle, WA
* Gain on the job experience
* Gain knowledge about how King County deals with water issues
* Gain experience with field work
* Understand how to use particular resources that are provided
* Gain more knowledge about geographical information systems and how it can be applied to real world issues
* Reporting on water resource uses, water flows, water quantity, and water quality.
* Working with treatment and reception of water.
* Field work will consist primarily of beach, stream, lake, and groundwater monitoring along with
micro invertebrate surveys.
* Working with King County staff on previous and current studies.
* Reading previous studies and writing studies and reporting on field work.
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM COREY BAILEY'S JOURNAL
Brett Angel, Kelsey Creek Farm, Bellevue City Parks,
* Develop curriculum emphasizing physical geography of the park and possibly areas of North Cascades
* Teach elementary age children environmental concepts
* Develop mapping activities within park boundaries
* Lead interpretive nature walks discussing physical geography
* Work with director to develop curriculum emphasizing geography of park, possibly added to camp's classes
* Use the Project, Wetlands and Forests of Washington curricula as resources for lesson plans
Click for SELECTED ITEMS FROM BRETT ANGEL'S JOURNAL
Kittitas County Conservation District [KCCD], Ellensburg, WA
This year I did not make it out on a site visit in the field with Travis Van Noy, but Jill has provided pictures of his doing the field work he describes in his journal and final report.
Amanda Taub Chris McCart with his idol Crocodile Hunter
I managed to get to Redmond, WA for my on-site visit with Travis Goodfellow, on Aug. 14th after lunch in Seattle. Travis had a chance to show me several of his drafting projects, introduce me to a few of the crew who give him assignments, and then he got an emergency call to get a project out to the field ASAP (one of those 'hot' jobs he mentions in his report). Hopefully, we'll be able to capture some of his work in smaller bandwidth than what he is creating. You can read about his work in his journal and in the final report. More examples will be added to this page when I receive the images of his drafting jobs.
Erin Dahlquist at work on digitizing with ArcView 3.2. Here Erin is pointing out her work on a proposed trail.
After a long trip stopping at many road construction sites along Highway 12, but some with awesome views, I arrived toward the end of the day at Kelso, August 13th.
I visited with a number of the staff including planners with whom
Erin has been working this summer. She has
done a lot of work with the GIS Director, Alyssa Tower. It was great to be able to say thanks for all the skills
she has taught Erin this summer. It was also nice to hear what a great job Erin has been doing for everyone.
We left after 5:00 p.m. and fought the traffic to return to her parent's
summer cabin on Silver Lake near Castle
Rock, for dinner. What an enjoyable evening and lovely way to end a hectic day! I'll share a few views:
Water & Land Resources
King County Department of Natural Resources, Seattle, WA
I made it up to the 6th floor and found the door locked (as Corey
had experienced his first day on the job). But
soon, a very kind receptionist was letting me in and calling Corey to come meet me. Because his "boss" Larry
Jones was involved in a very important meeting, we took the first hour or so going from cubby hole to cubby
hole, meeting many of the people Corey has been involved with all summer. I'll take you on the little tour, as best I can with the pictures below. The first stop was Corey's office for the summer. I got to meet Rob Blomquist, Water Quality Planner, with whom Corey had been doing the "buoy work" that you will read about in his logs and in his final report.
Bill Priest with Jasper Bill Corey
Bill Priest, a CWU alum (from Geography back in the 1980s), is now
working as an Ecologist in the same King
County Water & Land Resources Division. He is responsible for the gorgeous photograph of the Mountain Goat
on the front cover of the State of Washington, 2002 pamphlet edition of Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules,
put out by the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. He originally contacted them in 1992 regarding photo
needs. In addition to this year's cover, he had last year's cover (a mule deer) and the 1992 cover (another
He remembers his CWU geography days fondly. He noted that he
uses his education every day in his
professional life as well as his private life. As a result of his schooling, he believes he has a good understanding
of how the physical environment works, why landscapes look as they do and how they were formed, how
ecosystems and weather interact, etc. His love of photography and his skill of photographing wolves at
Yellowstone and wildlife all over is awesome to behold. He showed Corey and me a number of photos on our
visit with him. Also, Bill has pursued a part-time business, Northwest Wildlife Photography, and he gave me a
website where some of his work is displayed. I encourage a visit there: http://www.ecostock.com
One of the nicest comments Bill had to make about Corey's work there
this summer was praise for the
videotaping Corey did of Bill's work. It was of a stream/river model that demonstrates some of the physical
characteristics such as sediment transport, effects of flow and the importance of rock and large woody debris fish
habitat formation and channel stability. Bill said that numerous diagrams have been tried in the past to describe
the activity, but in his video, Corey has captured the true process of the stream restoration process. Bill claims
this footage will be invaluable in training sessions.
I admired the picture on the wall of Bill and his pup, Jasper, named
after the National Park in Canada. He
scanned it and sent me a copy -- Jasper really wasn't in the office with him!
After meeting a few more people, whose pictures I didn't take, we
located Larry Jones, Senior Water Quality
Planner III, and Corey's Supervisor for the summer internship. Larry has worked there for about 20 years. His
academic background is from the University of Washington in Industrial Design with a Masters in Urban Planning
and Design. While we were visiting the office, Larry had been in a final meeting with another intern. He is quite the taskmaster requiring a lot from his interns, in exchange and for verification of the students' summer experience. The picture below was taken after a very enjoyable BBQ lunch hosted by Larry (thanks again!).
Corey Bailey Larry Jones
After they all were safely on their way home, we walked back toward the main barn and offices. This is the view below, and you can compare to the Old Barn previously part of the property, which Brett displays in his report.
On my way back to my parked car from our meeting I took my time and
enjoyed the park scenery, first stopping
to watch the man with his daughter in the park playground. Across from that was the descriptive sign below of the Kelsey Creek Farm locator map. I'm walking taking the rest of the pictures from the area in the northwest corner of the map. The top corner is the parking lot.
I feel like the experience that I've gained working with the Kittitas County Conservation District will give me the upper edge when applying for future jobs. I have slowly become more and more independent in the jobs that I do. Once a week they sent me out to do flow metering which is very important for looking at the amount of water that is needed in the valley. Lately, I have been working for a local landowner who is losing property because of stream erosion. We have planted several trees and shrubs which should eventually help curb the problem. I like being able to help out the landowners as much as I can.
Jill Gallie and I worked together setting up soil moisture monitors
in many farmers' hay, potato, and corn fields. This involves everything
from digging a hole to wiring the sensor panels. After we installed a sensor
we explained to the farmer how to use it and answered any questions he
might have. Jill and I have also been conducting water temperature
surveys in the irrigation ditches and streams throughout the entire county.
Alan Aronica showed me the basics of surveying that is needed when farmers
are installing new irrigation systems. This internship has allowed
me to gain good experience and skills for my future career.
I wouldn't say that it has been all fun, but work is work, and I couldn't
ask for anything more (except a paycheck !). Thank you for the opportunity.
The first thing I did when I started was to read the comprehensive plan, particularly the portion on the greater East Wenatchee area.
The next job I did was to export the tables from the comprehensive plan into Excel. I was given the duty of writing up a letter and sending it to each of the organizations or departments of Douglas County asking them to update the table that was included and adding any other capital facilities they may have in Douglas County. The organizations I sent letters to included all school districts, fire districts, cities and towns, parks department, storm utilities, solid waste, Douglas County PUD, Chelan County PUD, State Parks, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
After the July 22nd deadline they had been given, I followed up with phone calls and emails to the organizations and departments that had not sent back anything and reminded them that it needed to be in by August 15th. The tables needed to be updated and ready to be reprinted for the deadline on the comprehensive plans, which are due to be updated and reviewed, I believe, by September of this year.
During the course of this internship I learned how to use Access and MapInfo. I used Access to input all parcel information there was for capital facilities, although I started this in Excel and later exported it to Access. In the process of doing this I was supposed to find or give a situs or physical address for each parcel that did not have one. Although not every parcel could be given one, many of them I was able to assign. I added a comment field and put in a description of a road nearby or if it was in the center of other parcels therefore not having any situs or if this was a particular park that could not be deciphered from the legal description. I used MapInfo to find the situs if I could for each parcel that did not have one. The great thing I found out about Access is the sorting ability and that one can add or attach a picture file.
The next project also using Access was to find out why that in some building permits the parcel number given did not match with parcels in the assessor’s database. With Access it is possible to join the tables and sort information in order to find out what information was not there. I found some were deleted, and there were typing problems such as the wrong number or that a parcel number had changed, by splitting the parcel into smaller parcels. While doing this I used the assessor’s database TerraScan which contains most information about a parcel. If something had changed there was rarely a reason given in the file, and it was not very easy to decide where to look next.
I did get the opportunity of driving around Douglas County and taking pictures of capital facilities. These pictures were inserted into the Access database and attached with its parcel number. I learned how to import Access into ArcView 3.2 and learned how to join the two tables in ArcView. We were trying to include the photos from Access. This didn’t work but I found that you can hotlink the photo to ArcView. This wasn’t exactly what Chuck was looking for but at least the photos can be put there.
The last thing I am working on right now until another project comes up is digitizing the shoreline. I am creating polygons from the air photos of Douglas County that include trees, lawn, buildings, shrubbery, and bare-sand-gravel, and I am digitizing polygons that are no more than 500 feet from the shoreline. Once I have these polygons created I then open the shoreline designation theme (the shoreline designation is up to 200 feet on the shoreline). Then I slice the polygons so that there are polygons that are within the shoreline designation and ones that are not. The polygons are also being sliced where the zoning changes. Therefore, I will have polygons that have a specific zoning designation, vegetation designation, and shoreline designation. After all the slicing is done I then update the attribute table and input all the additional information.
Overall I really am enjoying this job and have learned how to use computer
programs I have never used before, as well as getting some hands-on experience
with ArcView 3.2. I will still be working until September 19th or
so. There is still more for me to learn. I do want to thank Douglas County
for giving me the opportunity to learn as much as I could in the short
amount of time given.
I started this internship with the intention of gaining experience as a CADD drafter and to further my cartographic skills. I wanted to learn more about Auto-CADD (Computer Assisted Drafting and Design) as well as Microstation. I had hoped to use these skills that I learned to sell myself for future employment after I graduate in the spring.
This job forced me to expand my skills as well as apply what I have learned in the past. I was expected to learn fast and produce projects even faster. I have found that the workplace is vastly different from that of the classroom environment, which is also what I had expected. I was lucky to have a few people who were willing to walk me through the steps of designing a project so that I wasn’t just left out in the cold. After the first week I was off and running by myself; the work just never seemed to stop.
The basic workday for me would be getting into work at 6am and collecting job folders from my engineering supervisors. These job folders contained all the information I would need to begin a work sketch. From here I went to my desk and booted up my machine and began pulling existing maps to see what the area around my new job site looked like. Once this was done I was ready to draw the Job site.
Each drawing I did was different--some jobs required me to start from scratch while others allowed me to modify existing drawings to show the areas we were interested in. I did find that I preferred to draw the projects from scratch because when you modify someone else’s drawing you never really know what layers they used and what scale they had, etc. It was just easier to construct the drawing from scratch.
Over the summer I accomplished many things. I found out that Microstation is a program that is not as widely used as I thought it was. In fact, the industry standard is AutoCADD and it will remain that way for a long time. I also refined my cartographic skills. I sent out over 25 jobs to construction with only 4 completed by the crews. This is mainly because of the size of each job. Some were small and could be done in a day while others could take anywhere from weeks, all the way up to months. I would think that 95% of the jobs I had been working on are now in construction or on their way to construction. For anyone who is thinking of doing an internship like this over the summer I strongly suggest you do it. The things you can gain from an opportunity like this can only help you shape your future. You can receive anything from contacts for future employment to just flat out experience; it all is extremely valuable.
Potelco was really pleased with my work and is going to continue to
have me work for them while I complete my last few credits at school.
I will be working out of my house as well as the office. Then when
I graduate I will be able to go back and continue working for them full
time. This internship has really opened a lot of doors for me and
has been a wonderful experience.
The majority of my work experience at the COG was assisting planners to complete their projects, and doing some occasional office work. The time that I spent in the office I was involved in meetings with the planners about new tasks, I was doing research and creating databases. During the time I spent in the field, I did a lot of research on areas, did a land-use survey, and took a lot of pictures.
I worked on three main projects while at the COG, as follows: the Cowlitz County Trails Plan, the Wahkiakum County Comprehensive Plan, and a needs assessment survey for the Cowlitz Transportation Authority.
For the Cowlitz County Trails Plan I started by digitizing the trail committee recommendations into a GIS. After we had all the recommendations mapped out I went into the field and checked a series of obstacles that had occurred during past trail proposals. After checking the obstacles I had several meetings with the planner in charge of the project about what avenue we were going to start with. Our advisor directed us to focus on off-street trail systems in the Longview-Kelso Urban area. After our focus was decided I went back into the field to check every off-street trail that had been proposed and to make a list of obstacles and a list of positive attributes for each trail. I also checked other areas for possible trail proposals. After I had a significant list of obstacles I went out and took pictures of the major problem areas, and I compiled all of my research into a Word document with pictures explaining every possible off-street trail in the area. I number coded my Word document with a map showing all the off-street trails and the on-street connections for the committee to review. I was given the opportunity to give the proposal to the committee at the end of my work period.
My main objective for the Wahkiakum County Comprehensive Plan was to develop a land use map for the entire county. Wahkiakum County is very small and has no documented information to work with, such as parcel maps, so we had to start from scratch. We used the old fashioned method of driving through the county and inventorying the land use by categories. We printed aerial photos to use as a guide and wrote the land use on the photos in the field. After the information was gathered, I took a border shapefile of Wahkiakum County and spliced out polygons for each area to create a database of the land use. I created the database in ArcView 3.2. After we had the land use that was visible, I went to the county and looked at microsheets of parcel data to get information about agricultural lands. We added agricultural information to the ArcView database and created the land use map.
My third main project was the needs assessment for the Cowlitz Transportation Authority. The Cowlitz Transportation Authority is thinking about providing a bus service countywide, so they wanted a survey done to view how other counties similar in size were operating. I did an e-mail-phone survey to 14 different transit agencies, asking a series of 14 questions. After compiling the information I put it into Excel spreadsheets and graphs to display the information in a PowerPoint presentation to the board.
Other than the three main projects, I did a lot of writing, some presentations, and errands to help everyone keep up. The environment at the COG is very friendly, and everyone is always working together to finish a task. I was very proud to be a part of this working environment.
I feel that this experience gave me a lot of field experience knowledge
and presentation knowledge. Before starting the internship I had
an idea of what urban planning was about, but I wasn't sure of the job
description. This internship helped me to fully understand the tasks
and responsibilities of a planner on a regular basis. This internship
also helped me to understand the procedures used in reaching the finished
project. There were a lot of things that I did while working for
the COG that I had studied or read about in textbooks, and it was very
helpful to get a chance to deal with the issues hands on.
I feel that I met all of my learning objectives that I set out to and many more. I gained a lot of experience about the process and projects that the COG deals with. I also learned a lot about the office environment and how it works. The most important concept I learned about the office environment is that no matter what your title is, you are all working toward the same goal, whether you're a planner, secretary, or accountant.
Overall I felt that the COG was a great place for me to gain work experience.
The staff was very helpful and eager to share their knowledge. I
learned a lot of valuable things during my internship that I plan on applying
to my career, maybe with the COG someday.
In mid-February of this year I was surfing the Internet looking for a potential internship. When I came upon the King County Groundwater Section of the Water and Land Resources Division, I emailed the supervisor Ken Johnson. A day later I got a reply saying he had forwarded the email to Larry Jones. Larry Jones sent me an email telling me exactly what I needed to do. I filled out the application and sent it along with a resume. I had my advisor, Chris Kent, send a letter of recommendation to Larry separately.
Months had gone by since I had sent the application to Larry. About mid-May, I sent an email to Larry asking if he had received my application and if anything was going on. His email back to me told me that they had not made a decision yet and they would let me know as soon as possible of any progress.
By the beginning of June I figured that nothing was going to happen and that after finals week I was going back to my regular summer job of moving furniture. On June 5, I had my last final exam. I was packed up ready to head home for a long summer. I made it back home around noon on June 5. At about 2pm my mom called me asking who Larry Jones was and what King County wanted with me. I told her that Larry Jones was the person with whom I had applied for an internship. She told me that Larry wanted to talk to me and she gave me the number. I called him. He wasn’t at his desk at the time so I left him a voicemail. About an hour later Larry gave me a call and told me that he wanted to hire me on as a summer temporary. Of course, I accepted the internship and he told me that he needed me in the next morning at 8am.
I arrived at the King Street Center at 201 South Jackson Street at about 7:45. When I went up to the 6th floor I found that I couldn’t get into the office area because the area is locked and you need a key to get in. I guess they are big on security. When 8am finally rolled around, I called the front desk and told the secretary the story. She called Larry at his desk and apparently he wasn’t there. However, Jim Simmonds, the person that sits next to Larry was there and he escorted me to Larry’s desk. I waited there for awhile.
Larry arrived shortly after that. The first thing that he did was get us (I wasn’t the only intern) doing the necessary paperwork. Right after that he suited us up into waders and we were off to do some fieldwork the first day on the job!
That is the story behind how I got the internship and the entire process. This report is what CWU Career Development Services (sponsors of internships) calls a reflective report. My objective is to report my experiences during the 3 months that I worked with the King County Department of Natural Resources. The objectives and activities I laid out in my learning agreement between Central Washington University, King County, and me are listed in the introduction above on this web page.
I had a lot to do for the three months that I was with King County. For the most part I accomplished everything that was on the list. I worked with several different sections in the Water and Land Resources Division. I worked with the groundwater section a lot. Another section I worked with often was the Hydrological Assessment Group. One task I enjoyed was doing water quality monitoring on Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. There was a project that I worked on a couple of times, and their fieldwork was called beach seining. And near the end of my stay at King County I helped out with a macro invertebrate survey, which was with the Watershed and Ecological Assessment Group.
When the groundwater section is out in the field checking the water levels they are just making sure that the water levels are staying constant. The groundwater section had a historical data collection of all of the wells. Most of them date back to the mid-1980s. With that information the Groundwater Section can compare the levels and determine if the water levels are rising, falling, or staying the same.
When the groundwater section is doing a full-blown water sample they are getting the well pump to kick on. To do that you need to get as close to the well as possible and turn a hose on. To figure this out you need to pour the water coming out of that hose into a five-gallon bucket. With that you can figure out how much water is coming out of that well per minute. Before we do that we need to check how deep the well is.
The Environmental Laboratory takes two tests per year of all of the monitoring sites in King County. They take the water samples and they run them through the Microbiology, Trace Metals, and Trace Organics Sections of the lab. The Trace Metals Lab takes the water samples through a number of examinations. These include arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, molybdenum, and nickel. Other examinations include potassium, sodium, vanadium, zinc, alkalinity, chloride, fluoride, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, silica, sulfate, total dissolved solids, fecal coliform, and total coliform. I even took my own sample (well water) at my father's house this summer and had it analyzed in the environmental lab.
3 Stream Gauging
Another thing that I did during my internship was work with the Hydrologic Assessment Group, otherwise known as the stream gaugers. The Hydrologic Assessment Group has a total of seven employees and I had the opportunity to help three of them throughout the entire summer. This group does several things and was initially called The Water and Land Resources Division Watershed Support Unit Stream Monitoring Program. It started in 1985 with this purpose: to collect rainfall and stream-flow measurements to support hydrological modeling. Still, their primary purposes are to monitor rainfall and stream-flow measurements. This summer I helped do a little bit of both.
This group has about 50 rain gauges in the area. The only work that I did on these rain gauges was to help calibrate them and download the data logger that is hooked up to each one. The way that you calibrate these rain gauges is make sure that it is tipping when a certain amount of water is in it. To understand the calibration method I will need to explain the overall makeup of the system. The rain is collected in a circular pan. This water is funneled into the rain gauge. There is a seesaw type collection thing in the center of the gauge.
When that seesaw type thing gets full of 8.2 milliliters it should tip to the other side triggering the computer to record .01 inches of rain. The way we calibrate these rain gauges is to fill a beaker with water. This beaker has little marks on its side. We pour the water into the seesaw type thing slowly until it tips to the other side. When it does, we record how much water was poured. If it is 8.2 ± 0.2 milliliters it is ok; if not, we need to readjust the height of the bucket. To download the data logger we need the proper software and a laptop. All you need to do is hook the logger up to the laptop, open the proper software, request the data, and you will get it (or at least you should).
The other thing that I did with the Hydrologic Assessment Group was stream gauging. There are about 160 sites in King County that they monitor yearly. They are required to visit each site about 10 times per year. During my internship I helped several of the employees measure stream-flow.
When we get back into the office there is a program that we run. This program is Excel and the spreadsheet will figure out the width, area, discharge, and hazard of the stream.
4 Remote Underwater Sampling System (RUSS) Buoys
One of the most interesting things that I did this summer was working with Rob Blomquist. He is the person that is in charge of the water quality buoys that are located on Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. I did a little fieldwork with him a couple of times and I had a blast. Here is the basic setup for the buoys:
One thing that you cannot see is the top of the buoy. The buoy is shaped like a “Y”. You see on this diagram that there is one anchor but in reality the buoy has this type of setup from each side of the Y.
During the three months I was with King County, I worked on the buoys quite a few times. The first time was when I had a day that nothing was scheduled to happen, and I asked Rob if he needed someone to help him out. He told me that he would enjoy having another person out there with him. In this case all we needed to do was check on the equipment and change some things. The problem was that it had gotten wet on the inside of the compartment that holds the computer so we were checking to make sure that it wasn’t still bad. The second time that I got a chance to visit the buoys. I was with Melinda Ferguson and John Blaine. The problem here was that over the 4th of July weekend someone had unhooked the buoy from its north anchor from the buoy. Then a King County Sheriff decided that the hazard buoys were a danger to boaters and cut the rope. The rope sank and we had to re-drop an anchor, restring the north buoy line, and reconnect the line to the buoy. The buoy named Wash South (see naming convention below) about a year ago got run over by a boat. It has been in the garage getting worked on. The third time that I went out to help out with the buoys we were re-launching Wash South. I had to go through the entire process of getting everything up and running. There were many other times that I went out with Rob to do some basic maintenance. The reason that I mention these three events is because they are the most interesting ones.
The buoys are names for the lake that they are on (Sammamish = Sam and Washington = Wash) and the direction they are from the middle of the lake. For instance, the buoy on Lake Sammamish that is towards the top of the map is called “Sam North” and the Buoy that is towards the bottom of the map on Lake Washington is called “Wash South”.
5 Peer Review Survey
One of my administrative tasks was to get a peer review inventory list together from everyone who has a scientific or a technical background within the entire Water and Land Resources Division. This will be used in the future for reviewing a person’s report. For example, let's say that a person is doing a water quality report for marine environments. After this person finishes his report he can look on this list for other people who are familiar with marine environments and water quality. The list I compiled took a total of about forty hours and it contains over two hundred and twenty employees. I received over four hundred emails for this project alone and I probably chewed up about twenty-five pieces of paper. Don’t be worried; I recycled all of them.
I originally was going to go around from desk to desk asking people for their information. However, I found it to be really difficult. Finally, after talking to about twenty people someone suggested that I send an email out to everyone. I did that and within one day I had one hundred out of the original four hundred names completed. So I was one quarter of the way done in one day. I sent out a similar email the very next day. I got about the same number of responses the second day that I got the first. So in two days I was about half way done. The whole problem was that I was asking people who were working in payroll and administration to send me an email. So the person that gave me the project told me that he wanted to change the requirement to a person with scientific or technical skills. That reduced the list from over four hundred to about two hundred and twenty people. From day to day I would get about 5 emails from people who had been on vacation or out of the office. After about 2 weeks of getting nothing, I decided to send out a series of smaller emails where the person’s name was actually in the heading rather than just sending the questionnaire to everyone. That really didn’t stimulate too much of a response either. I was told to just forget about the people that didn’t care to respond. The day I handed the list to Larry he flipped through it, and he went to talk to a few of the people who didn’t respond. Finally, at the end of the entire project I had a list of about two hundred and twenty people.
6 Summary of the Environmental Laboratory
Another one of my administrative tasks was to produce a summary of the entire King County Environmental Laboratory. In the beginning of the summer I wanted to take a sample of my own well water and analyze it in the environmental laboratory. Larry gave me permission, and he told me that I might want to do some research on the environmental lab if I was going to do this. I started reading stuff on the lab. The only real piece of information that I was able to get was on the Internet. The King County web site had a nice summary of each of the environmental labs within King County. There are five environmental labs, as follows: trace metals, trace organics, microbiology, aquatic toxicology, and conventionals.
My sample was a groundwater sample with a field replicate. The testing parameters that are going to be taking place is that the Trace Metals Section is going to be looking for traces of arsenic, copper, calcium, iron, lead, mercury, and zinc. My results are not due until August 28 so this report will not reflect them at all.
7 Beach Seining (Near Shore Salmon Sampling)
Another field activity that I participated in was the near shore salmonid sampling, otherwise known as beach seining. This project is very repetitive except for the results. This is how it works: there are a couple of people on the beach and a couple of people on the boat. One person drives the boat, and 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 who 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 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 the netting two times. Here is a look at some of the fish that we normally catch:
8 Macro Invertebrate Sampling
Toward the end of my internship I was able to get in on a macro invertebrate sampling. It was a very fun experience. The steps in completing the sample are as follows::
1. To begin with, when you arrive at the site you need to determine where you want to do your survey. It is more than just picking a spot in the river and saying “here”. When you are looking for a site to do your survey you are looking at a couple of things. The important concerns include at least two things: (a) Be sure your site has at least 1 inch of water. You need this because the server surveyor has a lip on it that is about an inch high; (b) Determine if the site is in an area of the stream that is riffling.
2. The next thing required is to position the server surveyor in a proper location. At the end of the server surveyor there is an area of 1 square foot, which represents the area being surveyed. You need to make sure that the area upstream is not going to bias your survey. Therefore you need to stay downstream of the server sampler until the sample in that area is done. There are naturally going be rocks in the stream and you need to move those so the square foot is going to be from the ground, not from the tops of the rocks.
3. Once your server surveyor is set in the proper location, remove the larger rocks from the square foot. The way you do this is to take each rock and rub anything and everything that may be attached to it inside the net so it will be captured. Once you have cleaned off the entire rock you can just throw it out of the way.
4. When that is completed, you need to stir up the area that is within the square foot area. The way that you do this is to get a screwdriver looking type of a tool and just dig for 1 minute. Your main goal here is to get that screwdriver 10 centimeters into the river bottom. From there you just let the area settle.
5. Then pick up the net as quickly as possible without spilling anything. At his point, get the water scooper and try to get any of the organisms or gravel that are inside the net down into the cup. You can also splash the water from the stream onto the net but whatever you do, you never want to pour or splash water inside the net; otherwise, you might get something in the sample that you don’t want.
6. The next step requires you to take the cup off the net and pour the contents into the dishpan. What you are trying to do is to remove any and all of the big rocks from the dishpan. Remember that you are removing the rocks but you are also trying to get everything that may be living on that rock to stay in the dishpan. While one person is doing that another person can be examining the net. Even though we did spray the net off and the organisms are supposed to be in the cup, that is not entirely true. So what this person needs to do is look over the net and make sure there is nothing crawling around on it. If there is, remove it from the net and return it to the sample.
7. There might be water in the dishpan that we don’t want there. If so, then we grab the screener and pour all of the contents in the dishpan into the screener. Once the dishpan is cleared out, also make sure there is nothing alive left in it.
8. The final step is to take what is in the screener and pour it into the bottle so it can be sent to the lab.
The entire purpose of the sample is to test the health of the stream. According to experts, the health of a stream or river is dependent on the amount of bugs that live in the stream. This is because the fish eat the bugs and when there are no bugs present there will be no fish present. Most of the bugs being tested for are extremely sensitive to certain kinds of runoff, pollutants, conditions, and temperatures. Therefore, if a development goes in and starts to create some kind of problem, the water sample will identify it.
This survey started in mid-August. I was able to get about 5 field days with the bug team. On a good day we might hit about 3 sites. That might sound like a little bit but considering we need to take three samples and follow the eight steps above three times, it can be a little time consuming.
I completed a lot of tasks in my 3 months with the King County Department of Natural Resources, Water and Land Resources Division. There were several things that I agreed to do while I was doing this internship and let's take a look at how I accomplished them:
on water resource uses, water flows, water quantity, and water quality.
Water as a resource was clearly displayed when I was working with the Hydrological Assessment Group. One of their functions is to make sure that the water temperature stays down and fish habitats are appropriate for happy fish.
My final report (a videotape) with King County is a videotape titled, From Sea to Shining Sea. It talks about the hydrological cycle and in detail describes the flow of water from the point that it leaves the ocean surface, through the atmosphere, to the land, through a household, and back to the ocean
Water quality was displayed a couple of times including: (a) when we were doing groundwater samples from certain wells and (b) helping out on Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish with the buoys.
2. Working with treatment
and reception of water.
Because so much of my final report depended on the reservoirs and treatment facilities, the treatment and reception of water has been clearly displayed.
3. Working with King
County staff with previous and current studies.
4. Reading previous studies that may be relevant.
There was a total of three publications that I read this summer. First, I read and interpreted into my weekly report a publication titled Post-Development Monitoring Plan for the Trilogy and Redmond Ridge Urban Planned Development. Also, there was a sampling and analysis plan from the groundwater section that I read and interpreted into my Environmental Laboratory Summary. Finally, there was a USGS publication that I read titled: Groundwater and Surface Water: A Single Resource.
Overall, I believe that I have met or exceeded the learning agreement
goals, objectives, and planned specific activities that were set between
King County, Central Washington University, and me, at the beginning of
this internship. I have learned a lot this summer and I look forward
to returning next summer.
Every week I worked with eight kids from four to eight years old in a day camp setting. I worked for a total of 120 hours earning 3 credits for my intern position. I originally took the position without the idea of earning credits and just having a fun summer working with kids. After some talk with my advisor and supervisor I decided to use my educational background to create an environmental curriculum for the camp. I had an amazing summer and could not have had any more support from my advisor and supervisor.
The City of Bellevue’s parks and recreation department has a variety of summer programs for youths. Kelsey Creek Farm Camp is one of these operating out of Kelsey Creek Farm & Park. The surrounding community, Wilburton Hill, was established in the late 1800s and was primarily used for logging. Amidst the logging Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Dewey purchased some land and built the Twin Valley Farm dairy operation. Twin Valley Farms used a little red barn as the milk house. In 1933, it burned to the ground. Mr. Dewey and some hired help rebuilt the barn, which is still used today to house the numerous animals the farm takes care of. In 1944, another larger barn was erected next to the smaller milk house. The city of Bellevue purchased the surrounding land in 1968. In 1972, a jersey cow was found wandering the hills of the Wilburton area and with donations from the community the farm was started. Today, the smaller barn is used to house four horses, eight goats, five sheep, two cows, and a pig named Molly. There are two chicken coups, four bunnies and numerous free range chickens wandering around the park. Starting mid-July there is a week-long day camp operating out of the larger barn. It is truly an amazing program for young people.
The camp position did not pertain directly to my major, but instead
it taught me how to apply my education to a position that would not normally
require my knowledge. Throughout my educational career at CWU and
my research for jobs I have realized there are not many people hiring for
the position of a geographer. Instead I learned how to create a position
and work with people outside of my realm of education. Prior to this
summer my only experience with youths was coaching high school football.
The skills gained were the abilities to be creative with my education,
adapt to working in an unfamiliar environment and applying my education
to an unlikely job setting.
And, now, let me make a yearly CWU Award Announcement
CWU Career Development Services Partnerships in Excellence
The main GIS supervisor for all intern GIS work over the past 5 years at the Kittitas County Conservation District has been Nicole McCoy. Last year she received the Supervisor of the Quarter Award, Spring, 2001; the award was presented at the interns picnic at the end of summer and was written up in last summer's InterNews 2001 web page (access is noted near the top of this web page). This spring, May of 2002, Nicole and I received University Awards for our work with interns, representative of the entire year, rather than a quarterly award. [same award ceremony as Jessica's above]
Nicole received the CWU Career Development Services Partnerships in Excellence Supervisor Award for the Year and Nancy Hultquist received the Faculty Advisor Award. This honor was especially meaningful to us because back in the early 1990s, Nicole had successfully completed two internships with Nancy as faculty advisor. For the past five years, while at the Conservation District she had been tutoring and supervising others of our students in GIS internships. We both are grateful for all the letters our students wrote in our behalf to make us eligible for these awards.