The Marine Sedimentary Processes Apprenticeship just finished a 5-day, field work marathon at the Elwha River! The MSP is an intensive, research-based class for undergraduate students focused on the evolution of the Elwha River following dam removal. Students take charge of a research question, collect data, and write a scientific paper from their results. They live at the Friday Harbor Labs and only take this class; it is an immersive experience.
This year students are investigating both the beach and the ocean near the mouth of the river. It’s incredible to be able to observe the evolution of this region since the dam removal. We used the brand new RV Carson to sample both the water and the seabed near the river. After two days on the Carson, we moved on to the beach. We collected sediment from lagoons and sand dunes, and walked tens of miles to track the locations of logs on the beach.
The sun was shining the whole week making long field days fly by. Now it’s time to clean up, sleep, and get ready to process all of the data!