Ready, Aim, Fire!

As every university student knows, the week before a much anticipated holiday break tests one’s will and fortitude like nary another temptation can, and this pre-Thanksgiving week was no exception. Papers, quizzes, homework, and day dreams of homemade sweet potato pie bombarded the hardy crew of UNC OBXFS like cannon fire from the pirate ships of yore, threatening to sink our handsome lot. And a powerful nor’easter blew us off course from our planned field trip to Ocracoke Island, leaving us adrift on a sea of capstone work sessions for days. Yet these tribulations were nothing compared to what the syllabus map claimed to lie ahead; a confrontation with the Dread Pirate CAB (community advisory board) to present our progress on our capstone research! The Dread Pirate CAB, who in truth is neither dreadful nor a pirate but rather a wonderful assemblage of community members dedicated to supporting us in the progress of our research, was certainly no stranger to the OBXFS crew. Indeed, we had engaged them previously in the beginning stages of our research when our guns (data) were few and our ship (research project) was fresh and ready for battle (healthy exchange of constructive criticism and advice). Having come out of the first scuffle (meeting) largely unscathed, we imagined that we would be reasonably well prepared for another, higher stakes ones. To prepare us, our fearless leaders Capt. Lindsay and Adm. Gen. Linda instructed us to ready our cannons, pitch the hull, and batten down the hatches for a mock fight with just the two of them the Friday before the true battle. Masts high and the wind to our backs, we sailed into Friday with that eerie calm that oft befalls sailors who haven’t checked their maps and compasses twice, one some might call a false sense of security. Come Friday, we took our positions only to find that, alas, we had badly overestimated our seamanship, as well as sailed in the wrong direction.

What followed was rough me laddies. Having not properly understood our dear captains’ directions, our noble vessel started to take on water, run aground on the sands of our own miscomprehension and poor planning. Yet the crew of OBXFS is a resourceful and resilient bunch, and given a ceasefire of half an hour, we had patched our holes, redirected course, and assembled a more coherent defense of our precious capstone research. We were well on our way towards being prepared to meet the Dread Pirate CAB.

. . .

After a tireless weekend of research, weeping, editing, gnashing of teeth, and practice presenting, we finally felt ready to stand before the Dread Pirate CAB at sundown on Monday. The thirteen of us took our positions: ecology to engage first on the leeward bow, followed by human dimensions on the starboard. With our Power Point 30 slides strong, we launched into our attack; ready, aim, FIRE! The articulate sounds of our introduction boomed across the room as we explained the hydrological cycle on barrier islands and how this system interacts with septic. Our mighty bar graphs stood tall with compiled processed data, our glorious tables bristled with calculation and scientific erudition! We were flying high and sailing tall through our historic data until, BOOM! The first return fire (insightful question) of the Dread Pirate CAB crew! At first they came in slow and steady, then quickly became a volley of cannon fire (very helpful advice, critiques, and questions). The OBXFS crew stood, halted in our tracks as our noble vessel once again began to take on water. We looked around, at one another, at the Dread Pirate CAB and thought, for just a moment; “Is this it? Have we failed? What is to become of us?” Yet such thoughts tarried only a moment, and soon the crew was back in action, returning the volley (insightful questions) with a mix of light artillery (spontaneous yet informed answers) and cannon fire of our own (pre-made power point slides). Eventually, we pressed on through the battle (meeting) and were able to exhaust our ammunition (finished our power point presentation), waiting with bated breath the colors to be raised by our worthy opponent. Despite some scratches to the hull and holes in the mast, the Dread Pirate CAB did raise their colors, and they were flying for the crew of OBXFS! While we certainly have more work to do before facing our final battle at the end of the semester against the CRaKiNH (Community Research and Knowledge in Nags Head) presentation in which we formally present our research to the public, this battle (presentation) served to both highlight areas of our research we can improve upon, as well as gave us confidence as researchers and public speakers. But perhaps more importantly, it showed the hard work and talent the OBXFS crew has put into this project, giving evidence to their intelligence and compassion for the humans and natural world that must coexist on this thin spit of sand in the Atlantic. I couldn’t be prouder of my hardy OBXFS crew, and I sure will miss them over Thanksgiving break! Also, below are some pictures of the boiled bivalve spoils of our successful presentation!

I may not be a local, but I work in local government!

A photo of my first day interning at the Town of Nags Head.

This semester I had the privilege of interning with the town of Nags Head. My mentor Holly White is the principal planner –and an angel–of the town. There’s not much that in the scope of planning that Holly’s job does not encompass. Her job description involves public policy, community planning, grant writing, stakeholder engagement and environmental issues such as flooding, water quality, and adaptation strategies. Similar to Holly’s job description, my internship included a little of everything dealing with coastal planning.

My primary project was to evaluate improvements of pedestrian and bicycle paths that had been laid out by the Nags Head Pedestrian Plan of 2014. This meant Emma (the other Town of Nags Head Intern) drove from Eighth St. (the town line) to Gulfstream. We took note of new crosswalks, sidewalks, signal lights, and landings and where in Nags Head they had been placed. Early on, this served as a great way for me and her to better orient ourselves to Nags Head and the Outer Banks.

A map created by the Pedestrian Plan of 2014 that distinguished locations of where bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the town should be implemented.
Excel spreadsheet of pedestrian and bicycle improvement that have been undertaken by the town, including the suggested improvements of the 2014 plan.

 

A picture I took of the last two dumpsters i picked up on my ride along to commemorate the experience.

Another major project that Emma and I worked on was the mapping of commercial trash routes. This meant that we were up at 4:00 am, out the door by 4:30 am, and at Public Works by 5:00 am. I was assigned the mapping of all front-load dumpster pickup for the town, whereas, Emma took on side-load route mapping. There were many goals and parts to the completion of this project. The first component was obviously the ride along, where we noted the address, name, pad size, dumpster size and number of every location we stopped. The next step was inputting the data into an excel sheet that match pickup locations to town property codes. From there we mapped the routes by hand; however, soon those maps will become digitized. One of the goals was to have visual maps of the commercial trash routes for the town to use in future planning. Another was to have these route maps help advocate for a larger portion of the budget to be allotted to Public Works.

A house on Pelican Lane in South Nags Head that sits on the beach.

As mentioned earlier, every day in Town Hall was a different one. I worked on numerous smaller projects such as CRS permits. When not working on projects, I did research on case studies on affordable housing, decentralized wastewater plans, or bike paths. There were other times when I just attended Board of Commissioner meetings or followed Holly to cool conferences about sea-level rise in Southern Shores or Raleigh.

I learned a great deal about town planning and local government this semester and I owe a great deal of that to Holly White and Andy Garman and all other Nags Head Town Hall employees.

 

 

Best from your not so local, local
Marium K.

 

News Flash! A Multi-Media Internship

A bit about me

As a senior Environmental Studies major with a concentration in Environmental Behavior and Decision Making at UNC Chapel Hill, I committed to the Outer Banks Field Site with a hope for experiences where I could explore and intertwine my passions for environment and ecology, the arts, storytelling, and communicating truth. With my internship with the Outer Banks Voice and Jam Media Solutions, I have been able to do all this and learn so much more — about myself, journalism, and navigating the nuances of a dynamic community.

My mentor, the one and only Sam Walker

With the help of Corey Adams, the Research Operations Manager at the Coastal Studies Institute, I gained my mentor, Sam Walker, who has guided and supported my work and growth as an aspiring [student] environmental journalist these past few months. As news director of the Outer Banks Voice (online local news publication) and Jam Media Solutions (radio broadcasting organization), Sam has made these opportunities to explore journalism via different platforms possible for me, and I am so excited to continue making the most of it. He has shown me that a passion for media and journalism can manifest in multiple forms for someone, as is evident by his dedication to traveling for sports refereeing on top of his work as news director.

Behind the scenes of my internship

  • Outer Banks Voice 

For the Outer Banks Voice, I have been working on my first long-form feature article, which will explore what the Coastal Studies Institute can offer, from the students’ perspectives. Throughout the semester, I have interviewed current and former OBXFS students, the CSI director, Dr. Reide Corbett, and graduate students from East Carolina University. I have had so much fun hearing everyone’s narratives and learning how to compose a comprehensive piece that truly captures our diverse voices. This week will be the home stretch for editing and publishing the final story, so keep an eye out at the Outer Banks Voice website!

The station has physically hosted my internship these past few months, and I have had a wide variety of experiences on that end, from shadowing Sam to various interviews and story/reporting opportunities, to attending Dare County Commissioners Meetings, to troubleshooting technical roadblocks. We have spent a fair amount of time doing technical work on stories at the station as well. After publishing my article, I will be spending the rest of the internship time doing broadcasting work, which I have already witnessed and learned about, so I am beyond excited to actively train for it. Keep an ear out on the local radio for my (personally) much-anticipated amateur debut!

T<3M – Interning with the Town of Manteo

My internship for the the fall 2018 OBXFS semester has been with the wonderful Town of Manteo.  Centrally located in downtown Manteo, a pleasant 5-minute bike ride from our Manteo home, interning with the Town of Manteo has been one of my favorite parts of this semester.

The Town of Manteo is where all of the magic happens – it’s where public works, planning, police, water and sewer, and special events collide.  The people in Town Hall keep Manteo beautiful and running smoothly, while involving community members and listening to and supporting their ideas.

I’ve been working for Melissa Dickerson; a whip smart, tree hugging individual who is dedicated to her job in her (almost) hometown of Manteo.  Every Monday and every other Wednesday this semester, Melissa and I have been primarily working on the Community Rating System (CRS).  I spent many of my first few days reading up and gaining a better understanding of the complex FEMA program – essentially, communities can participate in CRS through accomplishing certain tasks that prevent the negative impacts of flooding on properties, and, in doing so, they accrue points that add up to a class rating which results in discounted flood insurance premiums for property owners.  The more activities the town completes, the better the discount for flood insurance policy owners.  I’ve helped to examine and understand flood zone maps; write, address, and mail out letters; and keep track of our documentation for our projects. I also participated in some damage assessments following hurricane Michael (pictured).

Photographing damage in Pirate’s Cove after hurricane Michael

While that has been my primary focus, I have also enjoyed seeing how Melissa works and how the town as a whole functions.  I’ve had the opportunity to get to know all of the department heads and understand more about what each of them do – from managing water and sewer to keeping all of the town’s files perfectly organized and accessible, to planning the Christmas celebration.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this local government internship, and I still don’t know if it’s where I’ll end up, but I’ve learned so much in my time with the Town of Manteo and have walked away with an overwhelmingly positive outlook on how local government works and an increased appreciation for all that they do.  This is a result of being a part of a relaxed, community-minded workplace environment.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live the beautiful outer banks of North Carolina, and I’m so thankful for having the chance to get to know TOM (pictured), and the many friendly faces that make up Manteo Town Hall.

One of my goals was to convince TOM to hang out with me in Melissa’s office, so I was delighted when Kermit Skinner, town manager, captured this photo

 

 

 

 

 

An Internship with a Porpoise

This semester I have had the pleasure of working at the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, a 501 c(3) non-profit focus on the study of bottlenose dolphin in the northern Outer Banks through non-invasive photo identification. This research is mainly for the purpose of studying dolphins population patterns and ecology, health, and behavior of dolphins in the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary System. My mentor was Jessica Taylor, who completed her undergraduate studies in Marine Sciences at Rutgers University and received her Masters in Environmental Management at Duke University. She taught me so much about dolphin behaviors and patterns and about the methods of dolphin research. The research done in our organization contributes to the Mid-Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog, or MABDC, and our studies are compared with to research done in other areas along the East Coast.

My internship was pretty much divided into two parts. Every other Wednesday, as well as the first few Mondays in the semester while it was still warm, I would go out on the boat to assist with dolphin tours or dedicated surveys. The dolphin tours were open to the public, and attracted many tourists. I would be in charge of recording the data, including environmental conditions like salinity and water temperature, as well as how many dolphins we saw, their behavior, and any recognizable fins. Jess had the professional camera and would photograph the fins any time dolphins were spotted.

One of the dolphins we spotted on a tour. This one isn’t quite as distinguishable by the dorsal fin. That is one of our rival dolphin tour boats in the back.

Dolphins are actually uniquely distinguishable by markings on their dorsal fins, which is how they are matched in the catalog. The dedicated surveys were on a much smaller boat, and were only with 3-5 people, including some volunteers for the organization. They were specifically for recording any sightings, while the opportunistic surveys were for the public and helped to raise money.

An example of the data sheet that we took out for every survey.

Every Monday as well as some Wednesdays when there weren’t survey, I would work on the computer with the photos from previous dolphin sightings. The first step once the photos were uploaded to the computer was to crop the photos to only include the part with the dorsal fin and sort the photos by assigning it a letter starting with A. Each fin was sorted for each sighting in this manner, with repeat fins being sorted with the same letter. This sorting would be verified by another researcher. The next step took place in FinBase, the automated software used for fin matching. On FinBase I worked on some photo quality grading, where numbers were assigned based on different aspects of photo quality. Then I matched the fins to existing fins in the database, which contains over 800 unique dolphins.

Left: Another dolphin spotting! Right: This is Onion, one of the most recognizable dolphins, because of his many scars, likely due to rubbing up against the bottom of boats.

I really enjoyed getting to learn more about the research of marine mammals, something I had very little experience with prior to this semester. I am currently compiling my research into a paper explaining the work I did and explaining its relevance as well as how the methods could be applied to future studies. I also recently recently volunteered at the Outer Banks Shrimp Cookoff, a fundraiser for the OBXCDR, where chefs from 8 restaurants in the Outer Banks competed to win the best shrimp dish. I worked at the Dolphin Outreach booth with former intern Liz Mason, educating people about what we do and helping to sell T-shirts. It was a great event and raised over $9000 for further research! All in all, I had an awesome experience this semester and learned a lot; it introduced to the many doors involved in the research career and I am very grateful for it.

Soil and Water

I’m Autumn and I’ve been interning with Ann Daisey, the Community Conservationist for Dare County, at the Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District. I’ve mainly been tasked with revamping the Dare County Soil and Water website. Ann needed some help collecting more information on things like cost share programs, stormwater best management practices, wetlands, native plants, etc. to add to the website. I only had minimal experience with webpages coming into this. I have taken a couple INLS classes at UNC and I have helped a personal friend with their own webpage. But that’s the cool thing about internships. You can have little to no experience coming into them. They are a great opportunity to explore your interests in a field that you haven’t experienced before, or haven’t experienced much.

The Dare County Soil and Water Conservation district helps property owners do voluntary conservation of our natural resources and to know what the needs of the environment in Dare County are. Ann provides assistance to businesses, homeowners, and municipalities with natural resource management, stormwater management, and water quality and soil erosion problems. She helps property owners by providing educational and technical assistance with things like implementing stormwater best management practices, soil testing, and other things like land surveying for soil smoothing. Some common stormwater best management practices in Dare County include: marsh sills, permeable pavement, rain barrels and rain gardens. Rain gardens are highly recommended by the Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ann can offer advice on how to design and implement a rain garden including how to select the best vegetation for stormwater drainage. Rain gardens are easy to install, easy to maintain and cost effective. I had the opportunity to take part in a rain garden restoration project at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, NC.

Before planting my plant, I had to separate the roots. This is important because you want to make sure that the roots can branch out in the soil. I also planted a few needle rushes along the edge of the rain garden using a dibble to create holes in the ground. In the end, with everyone helping, it didn’t take long at all to restore this rain garden back to its full potential. When I returned to the rain garden a few days later, after a rain event, the rain garden was holding water (some of which it collects from a French drain leading to the area). Success!

 

  

Corolla, critters, and kiddos!

I had the absolute pleasure of interning with the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education this semester. Located right next to the Currituck Banks Lighthouse in Corolla, this place has everything: a pond filled with neat invertebrates to examine, a sound-side public access point to the water, and an exhibit dedicated to Eastern North Carolina’s ecological composition and its hunting and fishing heritage. 

I work alongside a team of super-friendly, supportive women, including my mentor, Karen Clark. They have all taught me so much about how to be the best educator I can be! 

I participated in tons of different classes and projects this semester. I helped the Lead Educator, Sarah, teach classes to members of the general public each Wednesday. This included different classes each week, rotating among ones like crabbing, an educational walk through the maritime forest, and kayaking. We also would lead a school group from Water’s Edge Village School, a local charter school, in a pond scooping activity on Wednesdays. After scooping up critters from ponds and placing them into buckets, we’d help the students count, identify, and describe some of the creatures they found as they recorded this information into their field journals.

The Citizen Science Specialist, Marissa, and I would also conduct classes on Mondays. An ongoing project is Box Turtle Tracking, where we utilize radio telemetry equipment to track a resident box turtle that hangs out in the Currituck Banks Reserve. This project also acts as a citizen science project, with families being able to sign up to learn how to use the equipment and come along as we search for the turtle (affectionately named Turt Russel). This project is definitely one of my favorite parts of my internship. As the weather cooled down, it was much more enjoyable to tromp through the maritime forest and look under brush and trees for our elusive turtle.

Turtle selfies are a must after spending hours tracking this lil guy! We make sure to take a photo of how camouflaged he was, in addition to marking his location with GPS coordinates.

A map noting the various locations of where we have found the turtle shows where he moves throughout the reserve.  In addition to this project, we also marked and gathered information about any other turtles found within the reserve. All the information we collected acts as part of the ever-expanding database of knowledge scientists across North Carolina are compiling to better understand Eastern box turtles.

Holding on to a turtle we found while Marissa got the measurement equipment ready!

Other citizen science projects we worked on included Caterpillar Count and Shorebird Survey. Both of these projects are classes that anyone can sign up to participate in on the Center’s website. Caterpillar count looks as how arthropod presence on trees is being affected by climate change. We sampled several trees within a predetermined location by hitting a branch with a stick ten times and holding a white sheet underneath the branch to catch the bugs that fall off. We then would count the number and type of each arthropod and input this into a larger database that contains information about the trees and other environmental data.

Shorebird Survey was pretty much as it sounds— we would go out to a specified beach location with birder volunteers and, using a keen eye and binoculars, would count the number of each different species of shorebird seen within walking a mile of the starting location. I loved this project because it was a great reason to go for a stroll on the beach!

A beautiful day to count gulls and pelicans!

Each Monday when I wasn’t assisting with classes, I was working on creating an interactive bulletin board to go along with the existing photographs taken with motion-sense cameras for our Critter-Cam project. I created a maritime forest backdrop and placed silhouettes of various Eastern North Carolina maritime forest species within the scene. Each silhouette could be flipped over to learn about the animal and any of its unique adaptations. The board also provided information about maritime forests and about the ways to classify animals by the time of day in which they were active. This board was very fun to create, allowing me to be creative and use my artistic abilities.

The finished product! I’m really proud of all the work that went into creating this educational resource.

I have learned so much about making an environmental education program engaging and about how to be an effective instructor. I will take these skills with me far into the future as I continue to pursue a career in education! 

-Emma Josephine Karlok, OBXFS ’18

Let’s talk trash (and recycling)

Fall greetings from the coast! OBXFS ’18 student Emma Szczesiul is sharing a post about her internship for the semester. 

Do you like to talk trash? And recycling? Do you like to see the inner workings of local government in a thriving coastal tourist town? I got to do all these things this semester as I had the pleasure of working at the Town of Nags Head for my internship!

As one of 2 OBXFS student interns for Holly White, the Principal Planner at the Town of Nags Head, I had the opportunity to work on preliminary work and feasibility studies on commercial recycling for the town. With no current commercial recycling program (through residential recycling is picked up every week), I worked with my fellow intern to take an inventory of commercial dumpster size, location, and route for all commercial trash pickup spots in Nags Head. And yes, this did involve waking up at 4:30AM and riding around in a garbage truck! With a current need to switch from side-load dumpsters to front-load dumpsters, the inventory was needed to see which businesses have not yet converted. This data will also be put into GIS for route-tracking and management, and allows for the town to see which businesses still need to make the switch.

Aside from trash duties, I was able to attend monthly Board of Commissioners meetings and get a feel for how local government works. As a special treat early on in the semester, I traveled to NC State to see Holly speak at the screening of Tidewater, a documentary that discusses sea level rise (SLR) and its impact on coastal areas and the military.

First day on the job!

My other day-to-day duties include communicating project updates to other team members, reviewing documents with Holly, researching materials when needed, and, like any good intern, making sure my mentor is well caffeinated (coffee, anyone?).

Looking back on this picture from my first day at work, I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! From riding around in town cars to spending long days in the conference room going through files, I’m thankful for this opportunity for professional development and the kind, hard-working people I’ve met along the way.

 

 

Emma Szczesiul

OBXFS ’18 / UNC ’19

Intern at the Coastal Fed! Do it!

This semester I had the honor of working for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a member-funded 501(c)3 organization with offices in Newport, Wrightsville Beach, and Wanchese, North Carolina. I spent most of my Mondays and Wednesday at their beautiful Northeast branch (picture below, and my personal office (they take really good care of their interns) even had a beautiful view of the Sound.

The Coastal Fed seeks to empower coastal residents and visitors from all walks of life to protect and restore the water quality and critically important natural habitats of the North Carolina coast. Much of my internship was spent with my amazing mentor, Sara Hallas, who is the Coastal Education Coordinator for the Northeast branch. I especially appreciated the opportunity of working with Sara because I rarely get the opportunity to work with kids in a way that is relevant to my career as a pre-law student. Sara and I traveled to schools or hosted students at our office to teach them about water quality and the value of rain gardens.

I also got to take part in a restoration project at Festival Island Park, where we dug a new rain garden and planted several native plant species!

The vast majority of my work, however, was in assisting the Coastal Federation with their Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project. Started in 2014, the Project enables the Coastal Fed to hire commercial fishermen to collect lost or abandoned crab pots during the no-potting period from January 15 until February 17.

In 2018, 76 fishermen collected 3496 crab pots (or 1.7 tons of debris) along the North Carolina coast! From the collection, 2413 blue crabs and 761 fish were released from the lost pots.

My main focus for this project involved what to do with the collected crab pots once they are taken out of the Sound. My goal was to evaluate the costs and benefits of selling and reusing the crab pots, rather than scrapping them for the value of their steel as done in previous years. In this process, I have also done extensive research on the legality of selling the collected pots or even using them as payment for the hired fishermen, which has been great practice for my future legal endeavors.

Overall, my internship at the North Carolina Coastal Federation has been incredibly rewarding. If you live along the coast or love the ocean, consider becoming a member or attending one of their fun oyster roasts, happy hours, or other fundraisers. And if you are a potential OBXFS student, ask Corey to place you there for your internship! With opportunities in politics and lobbying, coastal science, education, and non-profit management, the Coastal Fed has something for everyone!

What Didn’t I Do: A Look into Environmental Consulting

The first time I met my mentor for this semester, it was during an APPLES Fall Break trip in the Fall of 2017. My APPLES group was helping them with a marsh restoration project along the waters surrounding the idyllic downtown Manteo. Below is a video recap of the project, where Warren describes the why and how. If you catch a glimpse of a blonde girl hauling oyster shells, that’s me!

My mentor, Warren Eadus, has a Bachelors in Science with a major in Geology from East Carolina University. Hearing him talk about all of the projects they worked on from many different environmental fields was so cool! Before this encounter, I had never even heard about environmental consulting.

Quible & Associates P.C., the firm that I interned at that Warren owns, is located in Powells Point in Currituck County. (Trust me, the drive is so worth it!) Quible works on a variety of planning, surveying, environmental science, and engineering projects for customers all over the Outer Banks. These customers can range from commercial, residential, nonprofit, federal and state, municipal, and industrial entities. A link to their website can be found below.

http://www.quible.com/index.php

I was thrilled to find out that the dress code was business casual (yes, this means jeans!) and I often found myself doing work outside of the office! I even got to go out with Brian Rubino, the Vice President of the firm, to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to map out an area for an oyster restoration project. Below, you’ll see me alongside Troy Murphy, the surveying king of Quible, walking around in succulents at Pea Island.

Troy and I surveying at Pea Island for an oyster reef restoration project.

In order to have more freedom going out into the field with everyone from the office, Warren was kind enough to buy me an OSHA HAZWOPER certification class. This certification allows me to go to hazardous sites with him for projects. For an example where this could be necessary, we went to a sand mine where toxic substances were spilled in the land, and Quible was responsible for making sure that these substances were removed properly. Below is a picture of the sand mine. I didn’t even know these existed!

Sand mine

Something that I thought was really great about working with Warren and everyone else at Quible, was that they really focused on what I wanted to get out of the internship. The project that I worked on the most at Quible utilized my love for data analysis, and really showed me where this takes you in the environmental field.This project is the Cape Currituck project.

Essentially, Quible is attempting to get the permitting needed to dredge a channel that would connect a pond on private property to the Albermarle Sound. Below, you can see the plat of the project.

Cape Currituck Project

Quible has been surveying and monitoring various parameters at this site for months. Below, you can see my mentor, Warren, out in the field gathering data for this project!

Warren Eadus

Below you can see one of the monitoring stations for this project. It’s crazy how even boring pictures of weather monitoring devices can turn out so pretty in the Outer Banks.

This data will be used to determine the effects on the two ecosystems if the channel were to be connected. In order to best model this, Quible is using a software called EDFC through a program called EE modeling systems. EDFC allows us to model the probable effects of connecting these two channels based on the data gathered by Quible.

The wiz behind this program is Brandon Harris, a civil engineer and ex-AP Calculus teacher  (which has really come in handy for this project sometimes!). It’s been a tough process, but an incredibly interesting one. Below, you can see our model so far.

EDFC model

My internship this semester has been on of the most rewarding parts of my Outer Banks Field Site experience. I have gotten an inside look at so many different environmental careers and tracks! If you want to be outside a ton, learn about an exciting field, and be around some really great people, definitely consider Quible for your internship in the Fall!