Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gas Station Kismet, maybe

I smoke, ok I know I shouldn't and I'm always just quitting, but I do. As it happens there is a small advantage, I end up going to the local gas station on a regular basis to buy cigarettes. I have over the years developed relationships with the people who work there, (I could tell a lot of stories here now, but I won't.)

Tonight when I went in to buy my smokes, Hannah (who works at the station) told me that it is really weird to her that there are three women who buy american spirits, yellow (me) orange and blue, and "its like you are all the same as each other and different from everybody else." She likes us all. I told her that I would love to meet these women. Hanna is totally comfortable facilitating a meeting between us all. I explained a little bit about social practice, and how if she wanted look at this as a project that she was doing, I would help, maybe host a dinner. She was totally game.

This image is Hannah's contact information. I've blacked most of it out, to protect her privacy.

Type rest of the post here


USGS field trip.

This is a picture of ground water, really!

On Friday Varinthorn and I were taken by Karl Lee (a hydrologist with the USGS) on a 5 hour field trip. We accompanied him as he checked data at sites along Johnson Creek and Crystal Springs.

We learned how the BES contracted with the USGS to collect scientific data to help them understand how building on the flood planes, and past work done by the WPA to change the nature of this waterway has contributed to the flooding and problems around Johnson Creek. The BES is using this science to design new projects that will abate some of the flooding. We saw areas where BES has bought houses on the flood plane (through the willing sellers program) torn them down and planted these areas which can now function again as flood planes. We also saw a site where they have made the creek snake around so that more water encounters more earth for absorption, as well as plenty of room for flood plane. (I'm a still a little ignorant and I don't think that is exactly right, please be generous)

We learned about ground water (even saw some at Holgate Lake-see photo above) We saw both low and high tech equipment for measuring temperature, flow, and quantity. Our collective heads were reeling with new information.

Karl was an amazing tour guide, he not only took us out in the field, but also gave us a tour of the office, the lab and the storage room, where he showed us some of the equipment they use in the field ..... and a santa suit.

Type rest of the post here