A Dopamine Pre-Thanksgiving Week

Howdy there people. Your host for the pre-Thanksgiving week OBX blog post is none other than Kurt… wait for it… Nelson.

As you may know by now, the beginning of each week and every other Wednesday is reserved for internships. Personally, I have been doing a lot of research on European energy policy, specifically Germany, and I’ve learned some interesting stuff (fun fact: approximately half of German renewable energy is owned by everyday citizens!). Everyone else is up to their regular (electric) internship duties too: Mark is installing doggy poop bag holders in Nags Head Woods, Emily Inkrote is still looking at dolphin fins, and Paris is making the OBX a safer place at court. God only knows what Cassandra has been doing though (Just kidding, she’s been working with sea turtle eggs).

On Tuesday, we had a super full day of classes and Capstone work that ended with our second to last CAB meeting. During the CAB meeting, we presented the human dimensions and scientific methods and preliminary results of our Capstone project. The presentation gave us a chance to make some preliminary observations and an excuse to begin compiling our thoughts. The CAB gave us some great advice at the end of the presentation and we can’t thank them enough for continuing to advise us over the semester.

Thursday was another full day of classes and meetings. We got to some fun stuff on Thursday though such as taking a hiking trip to Nags Head Woods where we learned about the ecology of maritime forests. It was nice to get out of the classroom and also educational to actually be able to see what we were learning about. After the trip to Nags Head Woods, Bill Smyth met with us over coffee and snacks in order to discuss public speaking. It was very helpful to get some feedback from him and now we can give a better Capstone presentation in December. Thank you Bill, you have been so kind, hospitable, and enlightening during our stay here on the Outer Banks!

Brett strikes a pose in Nags Head Woods while he listens to Lindsay teach us about maritime forests.

The final day of the week was also (you guessed it) another full day. Lindsay picked us up in the morning so that we could all go to the Manteo Division of Marine Fisheries Field Office. We were given a tour of the office and learned about how the division provides recommendations through scientific studies to policy makers. We also got to see a red drum get its otolith taken out, which is used to identify a fish’s age. Brett was very enthused to see the fish get cut open (not really though).

The red drum with its otolith removed.
A Division of Marine Fisheries biologist discusses significant fish in NC for fisheries management while I listen intently.

And finally, everyone celebrated Friendsgiving together at the Elizabeth II Guesthouse on Friday night by making a Thanksgiving-esque dinner. It was a scrumptious meal and helped us to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal next week.

The Friendsgiving Feast!

Thanks for reading and have a great Thanksgiving!