Thursday, June 26, 2014

Water Samples

This week has been such a busy one, but it has also been a very educating one to add as well. At the beginning of the week I completed my south inland route which is around  40 beaches that I need to go to and collect water samples.  The next day I was told by my supervisor that I needed to go resample 13 of the beaches because they all had a high count for bacteria. As the week went on the number of beaches that needed to be sampled became smaller and smaller. Now we are currently at 3 beaches. What caused such a large number beach closers and resampling is all of the rain we have in the last week and then the hot temps have not helped much. I also experienced plant sampling this week. So we go around to different lakes and go to different spots all along the lake and throw a rack out and drag it then we pull the rack up and from there are able to identify plants. Then from there we are able to create a plant map that will better help us see what kind of plants are growing in the area and to have for future references. I am learning so much with this internship and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I get to experience .

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beach Sampling

Another week done. So this last week I have been going and doing a lot of resampling's lately due to all the rain we have had. When we get rain and it changes the direction of waves flowing in Lake Michigan we seem to have a spike in high levels of bacteria that makes it up safe for people to swim. So I go out and resample  beaches that have high levels and we always like to resample it twice just to make sure. I also have had to close down 5 beaches already. With the inland beaches when theres high bacteria levels its due to smaller amount of water and warm temp. so its a great place for bacteria to start growing. Swim cast was last weekend and it was kind of tricky to use but I soon got the hang of it the next day the only down side was I was using a computer that looked like it was from the 90's and it ran like it to. Very Slow! The swim cast gives us so much data like water temp and wind speed and direction and how much sun light we get and when its cloudy and I enter all the data in and it will give me a projection and with that projection it will read out numbers letting me know if its safe for people to swim in. Cant wait to see what next week brings.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week 3

Another week has gone by. Im really enjoying the internship. I am learning so much in such a little amount of time lately, but I love it! This last week I have been battling bad weather. The weather has made it difficult to sample in and is also making the results on many beaches along Lake Michigan very high for bacteria. Most beaches are on advisory's or have been closed till the levels drop. I have also been switching up what I have been doing the last week we new routines. I have been going out and sampling along the Chain O Lakes with a fellow co-worker. What we do out on the chain is take samples from three different locations on the water and take different samples from different water levels some are right at the top of the water level or some are at the bottom. Let me tell you the bottom of a lake smells bad. It reminds me of the sulfur from hot springs. But the last two days were good the only bad thing was it was raining the entire time. My new project I start is also going through a check list of proto call that each beach should have. For examples regulations posted and life rings around the beach. So its my job to go through the list to make sure each beach is up to code with everything they need to have a safe beach and meet all the state requirements. This weekend I will be downloading data from our two swim cast and updating the local web site. Wish me luck on that Im nervous but I think I will be able to get the hang of it. Ill let you know how it goes in nexts weeks post. Have a good weekend everyone.
Casey Mullett

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 2 of Beach Sampling

Hey guys my second week has already gone by. There is still a lot to learn. But this last week I mainly sampled beaches on the Lake Michigan route. This route doesn't have as many beaches compared to the some of the inland routes. But what I really enjoy about this route is that the water is much cleaner then some of the inland beaches. But much colder so on the early 5 AM mornings its pretty cold to walk into to get my water samples. I a good thing about being up this early is the amazing sun rises that I get to see. I had to do a resample for one of the inland beaches today. This beach is really well known for being shut down. Its so small and doesn't have any moving water. This is a good example of a lake/ pound that has a better chance of being shut down for bacteria. When I first walk up to the beach I couldn't help but notice all the green alga. But the water was a really blue color. When I brought the samples into the lab I asked the lab tecs. and they said its because some lakes are died a blue color to make them look more inviting. I couldn't believe it. Lake associations go out of there way to make there lakes looks nicer to get more people to go into them. I just found it very interesting because they are probably polluting the lake more then it needs to be. Ill let you guys know how my third week goes. I have to down load the swim cast this weekend or the next and I will let you guys know how that goes.
Casey Mullett