A collection of my experiences in OBX

The past few weeks have been quite busy for us here at the OBX Field Site as we are putting in hard work toward making an awesome capstone project while also completing work for our classes and individual internships. We’ve been collecting and testing water samples, gathering relevant scientific papers, and we’ve even begun conducting interviews. In fact, I had the opportunity to conduct the first interview of the project (which went superb).

Bob, a volunteer with the Baptist Men organization, as he wheels out debris at a residential property in Avon, N.C. that was damaged due to flooding from hurricane Dorian.

Despite our abundance of work, I’ve really come to enjoy my time here on the Outer Banks. One aspect that I’m continually enjoying is my internship with the OBX Voice. Over the course of the semester, I’ve gotten to travel all throughout the coast to photograph for the Voice on a range of stories. I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people, see parts of the coast I’d otherwise be unable to, and work on my skills as a photographer. One assignment I enjoyed was covering the efforts to rebuild in Buxton, NC, after hurricane Dorian. While it was sad to see the destruction, I found it truly inspiring to see the volunteers aiding with rebuilding and debri removal. Some of the volunteers even came from as far as Delaware and Texas to help with disaster relief. I’ve enjoyed my work thus far and look forward to what my future assignments may bring.

Me, attempting to catch a wave.

Outside of field site work, I’ve also been able to dabble in some of the activities exclusive to the coast. One such activity has been surfing. Thanks to Christin, a member of our Community Advisory Board, I’ve been able to try my hand at surfing near Jennette’s Pier. Despite falling in a few times (or most of the time), I think I’ve started to get the hang of it and I think that it’s a hobby, I’ll definitely try to keep practicing. 


In addition to the fun activities, I’ve also had the opportunity to volunteer with the OBX SPCA in my spare time. I’ve helped them out at a few of their events and gotten a chance to meet and spend time with a few of the awesome animals that they are currently looking after. 

I’m excited to experience even more of the OBX and look forward to continuing my work here at the field site!


Hello, Gourdgeous. It’s Fall in the OBX!

The last couple weeks have been a mix of fun and hard work. During the week of October 7th, we carved out Wednesday-Friday as extra time to collect data for our Capstone project. We took 2 water quality samples, as well as added a new sampling well in Nags Head Woods. Although we had to cancel our Friday field trip to Hatteras due to weather, we still had a fun Friday. My family was in town, and had everyone over to their AirBnB for tacos! We had fresh Mahi and vegetarian chorizo tacos, as well as some of my grandmother’s homemade coconut cake. I also caught the homecoming parade for Manteo High in downtown Manteo on Friday afternoon. This was my favorite part!!

The week of the 14th was only half a week, since our fall break started on Wednesday. I had my internship, at the Planning Department in Nags Head, on Monday and Wednesday. Wednesday was National Bosses Day, so we had a fall-themed party for my bosses with some pumpkin cupcakes and hot apple cider! I got a lot of work done on both Monday and Wednesday on my project with the Septic Health Initiative. I am looking forward to seeing the ways in which my project at work aligns with our Capstone research.

On Tuesday night, we had a CAB meeting. Instead of talking about our research, we painted and ate burrito bowls instead! Faye Davis Edwards, the creative director at the Dare County Arts Council, set us up with canvases and paint, and helped us paint oysters. Although mine ended up looking like sushi, or a pretty moldy avocado, others painted beautiful oysters! It was a fun meeting that was a break from the norm. We have also agreed to volunteer at the Dare County Art Council’s annual gala on the 26th. This year’s theme is Swing!, and we will be helping to check guests in and out, as well as drive them to their cars in golf carts. We also get to dress up!

I decided to stay in Manteo and enjoy the weather over fall break. It was very relaxing, and I enjoyed 3 beautiful sunsets, as well as carving a pumpkin on the beach. I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s fall breaks, and regroup on Tuesday. That’s all, folks!


Carving pumpkins on the beach!
The prettiest sunset I’ve seen in the OBX! Taken over fall break.

Another week in paradise!

This past week was a pretty typical week, but that does not mean that we did not make it a fun one! This Monday we had our internships, and I am interning at the Coastal Federation this semester. On Mondays, we start off our day by attending the weekly staff meeting. At our meetings, we go around saying what we accomplished last week, and what we are looking forward to working on in the coming week. After our meeting, Leslie and I met about a graphic I made last week on plastics. She told me about other graphics she wanted me to do and also edits I could make on my current graphic. After my day of internship, I got to stay at the Coastal Federation because our CAB meeting was there this week! We set up stations upstairs and downstairs and split up between them. Each station represented our three different questions that we are addressing in our capstone project. After getting our delicious Buddha Bowls, I went to my respective station. I was the water quality station, which was responsible for talking about how we took water quality samples and showing them an example of a sample that we took. We had a water quality sample from our first sampling day, and we showed them what it looked like under the black light, and how to tell the total colony-forming bacteria. They gave us some really good feedback and it was a very helpful (and yummy) meeting.

The photo above shows Emma at our CAB meeting. The rest of the week was pretty typical, we went to class on Tuesday and learned a lot of new and interesting things, and Wednesday was our internships again. On Thursday, we had a guest speaker to our class, Terri Kirby Hathaway. She taught us about sand and all the different types and shapes. She even showed us fossilized ghost crabs! After class that day we made a group dinner, breakfast for dinner! I was responsible for making the veggie sausage for all of us vegetarians. Below is a picture of the finished product! We had sausage, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, fruit salad and roasted vegetables. We are going to try and make it a tradition to do a themed group dinner every Thursday. Although this week contained no fancy field trips, it was still amazing to have another week bonding with some really cool people and learning from great professors!