Monday, June 22, 2009

Update from Erik

Hi All,
Hope that everyone is doing well. I'm not doing too shabby. I've been keeping rather busy here.
This past week, I did a lot of analyses in the lab, it's lots of fun! I went out to the field twice this past week. I went out once to place data loggers in some wells. I also went out to collect some bugs, place a bunch of new ones, run three discharge measurements, and locate a sink hole to run a trace out of next week. While we were out wandering around the woods, I found a spring all on my own!! Go me!! Haha. We celebrated thirsty Thursday last week. That was fun. We all hung out in the undergrad lounge in the Geology building. Good times.
On Saturday we all went on a field trip with Calvin (he printed a 40 page book he wrote for us about the trip!). We explored a few springs, a few sinking streams, and two caves. We explored Niagra Cave, which is a private commercial cave. That was fun. Most of the conduits follow bedding plains, faults, and joints. Pretty obvious I guess. So we wandered around there, Calvin was our guide, as he was one of the first persons to go into that cave, and map it. We then went to Mystery Cave which is owned by the state. That was pretty cool. The part we explored didn't have lights in it, so we got to bring our flashlights to wander around. Pretty cool. Again Calvin was our guide, as he made the maps of that cave. It's pretty cool in the welcome center half of the pictures are of Calvin, and most of the figures and the maps are made out to his credit. He's been around a bit I guess. He's still a lot of fun to hang out with. On our way home Saturday nite, he took us around to look at a old car show (pretty sweet). It was fun pointing out all of the cars, and arguing what the nicest cars were.
Today was a pretty easy day. It was my first day off in the last 2 weeks. I basically just chilled the whole day. I think the only thing that I did that was productive was go grocery shopping!! Haha. It's good though, I needed a break. I almost wish I had another day, but oh well. Next weekend will be here soon enough.
I'm going to attach a picture of the group of us interns. Well, not everyone is in it, but most of us are....
L-->R Back Row: Will, Me, Nobu
" Middle Row: Julie, Angela, Alissa, Becky
" Front Row: Chelsea, Liz, Michael
So Will, is a cool cat, this is his second year at this REU, he's been working on the same project. You already all know way too much about me. Nobu works with Calvin as well, he's also pretty cool. Julie, also works with Calvin, she's nice, I guess. Angela is really nice, she is working on modeling something. Alissa works in the IRM (Institute for Rock Magnetism), so I don't see her too often. Becky also works in the IRM, she on the other hand is very nice! Chelsea is working on some project in the chemistry labs. Liz works in the LRC (Limnological Research Center), she's looking at charcoal (0.5cm resolution!) from a lake core from NW WI. Michael is my room mate, he's working on petrology of martian basalts. Way over my head.
So that is most of everyone that I am working with. We are all getting along real well. Next weekend we are having a party to celebrate a bunch of their birthdays, they are all lined right up. Should be fun.
I've been reading tons here, I've read three books in the past 1.5 weeks, and read a textbook as well. Fun fun. I think that I'm learning tons here. It's pretty sweet.
Not much else is happening.
Oh, finally have a project. I am going to be mapping the karst terrains in Houston County. What fun. I guess that since I am the only person competent in GIS, I get that honor. Though, it should be fun, and not take too long. I plan to spend as much time doing other projects as possible with Andrew and Kale (both grad students I've been working with)they have cool projects, and it's good to talk with them to learn more, and see what research is about for them.
For those of you that haven't taken GIS.... take it, it's probably one of the best skills that I've learned, and it can get you into lots of new places since not many people can use it fluently (yes Joe, this includes you as well!).
I think that is about it. It's been really hot and humid here. Which is absolutely horrible. Oh well, I'm just getting use to sweating when I'm sitting still, damn summer. Though it is good for those 15hr field days!!
Well, I'm pretty tired, so I think I'm gonna crash soon.
Hope everyone is well,

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