Early Rising

Good morning! It’s 5 am, my favorite time of day. I can do anything I want in the morning – right now I’m writing this blog post (I’ll probably post it later though). At sunrise, I’m going to head over to the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) to take some photos of plants for the Coastal Landscape Initiative, but right now I’ll let you know what we’ve been up to.

My early mornings are usually spent alone, but these past two weeks I’ve had the rare opportunity of spending time with people before 10 am (which is like my late afternoon). I’ll start with Friday, Sept. 18th; the plan was to get SOAKED. It was a storm sampling day for our capstone research, and we had to get data on rain’s effect on water quality. Emma, Caroline, and I headed out at 9 am for our second day of fieldwork. We had so much fun bailing water out of the wells. Of course, not everything was perfect – the rain stopped for us and we didn’t even get to get wet. But, we still got our storm-day data! Afterwards, we brought our samples back to CSI to be prepared for coliform and E. coli readings, which I got to do with Bri and Lauren the next day!

Sampling Supply Box. Always be prepared.
Vista Colony Well after Storm Water Sampling










This week, on Wednesday Sept. 23rd, Lauren and I started our days at around 4 in the morning. We had a three-hour drive to Morehead City to shadow a grad student’s research. For our internships, Lauren was writing an article on the project (which you can check out at CSI’s website) and I got to take photos. We had a blast on that trip from our conversations, to fish tagging, to wild horses. I’m not going to talk too much about it here because Lauren’s article isn’t out yet, but here are some sneak-peak photos.

Lauren releasing a sheepshead fish after tagging.
Wild horse near Cedar Island, NC.

And finally, this Friday, Sept. 26th, our whole class got to wake up early to meet in the town of Duck at 8:30 am. Duck is about an hour from where we’re staying. We met with CAB member Matt Price who talked a little about shoreline protection/living shorelines in Duck as well as the septic system they use. Then we drove to Corolla for kayaking/stand-up paddle boarding, a meeting with Hadley Twiddy about ecotourism, and a meeting with the wonderful Sharon Meade about wildlife and hunting history on Corolla. My favorite part of that day was an eastern box turtle we saw along the side of the road.

Eastern Box Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle

Anyways, I know this blog post is a bit rambling. My point is the best days are the ones I start early. I have so many more stories from shipwrecks to shark eggs! I’d encourage you to watch the sunrise at least once a week – I’m going to go watch it now. Thanks for hanging out with me for a while, Heidi signing off. Carpe diem.