New Interns Hit the Field

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

Saman­tha Kahl, AWSMP’s Tem­po­rary Water­shed Edu­ca­tor reports on train­ing for this year’s sea­sonal stream tech­ni­cians. The tech­ni­cians, and occa­sion­ally Sam, will be in the field sur­vey­ing Ashokan Reser­voir streams this sum­mer. In Sam’s words.…

I just spent five days with seven Water­shed Corps (WCC) interns train­ing under the super­vi­sion of Mark Vian, Emily Polin­sky, and Danyelle Davis of the NYC DEP Stream Man­age­ment Program.

The first three days of the Stream Man­age­ment train­ing was con­ducted in a class­room at Ulster County Com­mu­nity Col­lege (UCCC).  Mark and Emily pro­vided us a solid (and fun) aca­d­e­mic back­ground detail­ing water­shed his­tory, the impor­tance of stream mon­i­tor­ing, and var­i­ous tools and tech­niques used in the field. They are foun­tains of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the NYC Water­shed, mak­ing the aca­d­e­mic por­tion both inter­est­ing and exciting.

WCCC Training 2017_Credit Emily Polinsky

From Left to Right: Justin Alecca (Brown hat, pur­ple shirt), Saman­tha Kahl, Bren­dan Keat­ing, Aaron DePetris, Amanda Caban­il­las (crew leader), Brid­get Bromm (UCCC), Erica DePalma (SCA), Mark Vian, Travis Ferry (RNSMP), Court­ney Brill, Emily Polin­sky, Aimee Hartwig, Win­ston Gedicks.

Due to inclement weather, we lost one of our field train­ing days, but our fear­less lead­ers made the most of our remain­ing two days out in the field. We trav­eled to the Frost Val­ley YMCA where we accessed the West Branch of the Nev­ersink River for our sec­ond round of train­ing. Mark, Emily, and Danyelle, as well as sea­soned WCC intern Amanda Caban­il­las, rein­forced our aca­d­e­mic edu­ca­tion by get­ting us in the stream for visual assess­ments and con­duct­ing stream cross-sections using laser lev­els and sta­dia rods. We also trained on spe­cific com­puter soft­ware (River­Morph) that pro­duces a graph of the cross-section data col­lected; the soft­ware pro­vides a visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how the streambed looks if you were to cut the stream in half.

Provisional Data XS1 FVMF

A stream chan­nel cross-section.

The entire group is com­prised of intel­li­gent and ded­i­cated stu­dents from all back­grounds; each of them con­tribut­ing to the train­ing in their own amaz­ing way. A friend from the Round­out Nev­ersink Stream Pro­gram shared with us the ben­e­fits of Chaga mush­rooms and where to find them; a UCCC stu­dent shared his fly tying sto­ries with us; while oth­ers shared expe­ri­ences from their lives and their rea­sons for enter­ing the envi­ron­men­tal field. It was great to be in the field and work with stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als learn­ing about geo­mor­phol­ogy, all of whom respected each other and gen­uinely cared about stream man­age­ment prac­tices. In my opin­ion, we all came out of the train­ing with the knowl­edge and field expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to be suc­cess­ful in our desired fields.

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