Salty slugs. or: Thanks Bridget!

It is hard to believe that the summer field season is almost over here at Hubbard Brook.  Time flies when you are having fun.  Whether believable or not, the summer is just about gone, so we’ll be saying goodbye to our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student, Bridget O’Neill next week.

Bridget has been an awesome addition to the Watershed 3 team this summer.  She took on an imposing project for a summer long stay at the Hubbard Brook.  Her goals were to refine a salt tracer test capable of identifying stream loss and gain along a reach for the headwater catchment scale, and then to utilize the method in Watershed 3.

Having one student up here hoping for storms (me) was bad enough, but two? We should have seen this coming.  It was a dry summer, periodic thunderstorms were the only rain we saw and they only occasionally brought streamflow up above a trickle.  Bridget was determined, however, and found enough water wherever she could.  While unable to perform her experiments in the experimental watershed because of the lack of flow, she has refined the method and we now have an idea of how this can work in our small catchment.  So now we are ready to rock and roll.  Once we have the streamflow and the time, we can follow Bridget’s method and gain some new insight into how the catchment functions!

Thanks Bridget! And good luck in your final semesters of college!

I can’t find a picture of Bridget dumping salt in streams, but a group picture from the awesome Hubbard Brook Research Foundation student housing, Pleasant View Farm, seems appropriate.  Bridget is on the bottom row, second from the right. (Other lab members: JP – Top row, second from the left and Cody – Bottom row, second from the left)

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