Week 3: Last Week of Preparing for Camp, Goldie Launch

This week started off with a restoration project at Messalonskee High School. The students had their Day of Caring on Monday, which involves students choosing a community service project to work on for the day. Matthew and I worked with nine high school students to redirect a drainage located near the trails behind the school. This drainage was flowing onto the trail, causing it to erode. We worked together to create a new path for the drainage, and to block off the old path using rocks and sticks. We also helped the students plant two trees near their softball field.

Matthew and me enjoying a popsicle break (left), before heading back outside to help the students plant the trees (right).

In the middle of the week, I was able to go out on the boats to collect samples. We went to one of our testing sites on Great Pond. We gathered water samples, did Secchi readings, and used the probe to test for other parameters such as temperature and dissolved oxygen. These data are collected throughout the summer for the Water Quality Initiative to try to paint a clear picture of the patterns and problems each lake is facing.


Me taking a water sample while a curious duck watches.

Later on in the day, we helped launch Goldie. Goldie is Colby’s research buoy that has been placed in Great Pond every summer since 2013. The buoy gathers continuous data on temperature, oxygen levels, and algal biomass at different depths. It was designed as a way to bring scientists and the local community together by displaying the data in real time and making it accessible to everyone. A lot of work went into preparing Goldie for launch, but by the end of the day she was up and running.


Goldie in Great Pond.

On Thursday, Matthew and I went to staff training at Camp Tracy to introduce ourselves and what we are going to be doing at camp. I led an activity on plant adaptations with the staff as a way to show them the kinds of activities I will be leading with the campers. The counselors were very receptive and I thought it went well.

Friday was the open house for Camp Tracy. Campers and their parents came to get a tour of the camp and meet the staff. I got to meet a lot of the campers and show them some of the scientific equipment we will be using, as well as some macroinvertebrates we collected from the stream. They were full of energy and it made me very excited to start camp on Monday.


Matthew and a future camper in an intense Whompet battle.

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