Dropping Temperatures, Rising Workload

Hello from the Outer Banks!

As the temperature is dropping, our workload is rising here in Manteo. With internship presentations coming up, a Community Advisory Board to impress, capstone research to complete, and birthdays to celebrate – there has been no time to waste! Even though we’ve been super busy, we were all still looking forward to our Ocracoke retreat…but it got canceled! (hopefully rescheduled) The weather is to blame here – and that completes the hat trick of altered retreats due to weather! Regardless of that bittersweet reality, there’s still much to report.

Marcia Cline’s “Sunset” size: 2 ft x 4 ft

Monday was an exciting day at my internship at the Dare County Arts Council. We got three new teachers signed up to teach Power of Art classes in 2018, I opened up some awesome new fused glass supplies, and I helped finish hanging a new exhibit in the gallery! The artist’s name is Marcia Cline, and she paints beautiful scenes from around the Outer Banks.

(from left) India, Amelia, Tara, Danielle, Bianca, Mark, and Saxophone-Brett pose behind the movie station

Monday was also Emily Pierce’s birthday. We welcomed her into the early-twenties club with Brett’s surprise saxophone solo (it was also national saxophone day) to the tune of happy birthday, a  sizable cookie-brownie cake, and a resourceful movie-watching area for her favorite movie ever: Mamma Mia! (we all still have ABBA stuck in our heads).

Steve Trowell discussed the CAMA/Dredge and Fill General Permit 7H.2700 in his presentation on living shoreline permitting






Tuesday brought the unfortunate news of the Ocracoke Retreat’s cancellation, but Steve Trowell from the NC Division of Coastal Management helped us through it with a fresh take on Living Shorelines. He elaborated on the intricacies of, advances in, and future goals for streamlining the permitting process for living shorelines in North Carolina.

Core samples on-deck for processing


Wednesday became a field collection day (instead of an Ocracoke day) and everyone dispersed to various capstone gas sample collection sites. It was a cold and rainy day, but most groups found sampling success…most. Paris, Tara and Mark drove all the way to Hatteras only to find that the sample sites were flooded, so they came home empty handed 🙁  On the other hand, we devised an efficient system to process core samples, and it’s been going well!


Tara stares down the pins, Brett gets too excited about his turn, Kurt stays bitter about his score, and everyone else keeps having fun!



On Thursday we started working on a group code-book to use in analyzing our interviews for the human-dimension aspect of our capstone work. The code-book wasn’t finished that same day, but since everyone had worked really hard, we went out for a well-deserved night of group bowling!

Featuring Tara and Brett: a dramatized re-enactment of what it mentally felt like while finalizing a group code-book



On Friday, a few of us wrestled to the finish line and completed the code-book in a stressful but productive two hours.

It’s always an exciting time here with the OBXFS2017 crew – tune back in next week and see what we’re up to then…thanks for reading!



The Art of Interning

Hi! I’m Bianca, and this semester in the Outer Banks has taught me more than I ever expected. School is great, but my favorite part so far has been my internship.

I’m interning with the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) under the executive director, Chris Swain. My primary project is to help relaunch the DCAC program, the Power of Art.

The Power of Art is a partnership between the arts council and five other organizations that serve adults and children with intellectual and developmental disorders, adults with memory loss, victims of domestic abuse, and veterans.

“The Power of Art is a program designed to serve special groups in need or with limited access to arts programming and education. Made possible by a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, the Power of Art’s objective is to give those with disabilities and difficulties with self-expression the opportunity to create and make critical decisions through unique art programs.”       –DCAC Website

What I’m doing for the program is three main things: creating a system to document all the ongoings of the program, getting teachers signed up (including myself), and getting the word out about this program and the call for art teachers. I’m also setting up an event to get teachers together so they can all discuss their experiences, learn from each other, and get ideas for potential projects in the future.

The classes I’ll be teaching are in fused glass. I’ve worked in the medium for years, and I’m excited to share it with these members of the community. I’ll also be teaching, separate from the Power of Art, a fused glass workshop at the DCAC before I leave in December.

Another exciting thing from this internship was the opportunity to volunteer at the art council’s annual masquerade gala event; this year it was called Black Opal. A group of friends and fellow students donated their time with me, and in return we got to dress up and enjoy a black-tie (or fully costumed) night of live music, delicious catering, a hugely successful silent auction, and absolutely stunning decor.


One angle of the center table at the Black Opal Masquerade Gala

With all that said, my last and most potent remark has to be about the people I’ve met throughout this internship. They’re amazingly talented and committed people whose generosity and love of community has been apparent through every shared moment. I’m so humbled and impressed by this organization, how it functions, how it is so highly regarded by the town, and how professional it is all the while feeling like home.

I’d like to thank this field site and the DCAC for presenting me with these experiences, and I’m excited to stay in touch with this network of people long after I leave.