River Bends and Learning Curves

River Bends and Learning Curves

Greetings from Frederick, Maryland!

Through this internship I have learned a lot about myself. Every day I come into the office or go out into the field to collect data, I feel increasingly capable that I can be a leader in the workplace and am able to self-direct my days alongside another intern. Here at Monocacy National Battlefield, Olivia Boraiko, a recent graduate with a B.S. from Tulane University and myself, a current graduate student from California State University, Monterey Bay comprise the hydrology team.

As aspiring hydrologists, we are teaching ourselves the field techniques associated with the Rosgen method to classify streams. The Rosgen method uses measurements of stream channel morphology, or shape, to reference and compare streams. When stream morphology is recorded, we can potentially predict a rivers behavior, examine how it’s able to transport sediment, and compare these data to other rivers with similar characteristics. Overall, this method can provide insight into the health of the river and our work will inform future management of these waterways.

Olivia and I learned a variety of new field techniques to measure the morphology of streams. Our project surveys an existing 700 foot stream reach and a 400 foot stream reach that we are setting up for the first time this week. On the 700 foot reach we learned how to take measurements with a surveyor’s rod and level, how to adjust these measurements to benchmarks and turning points, and how to interpret these data in spreadsheets. We are also combining spatial data and field measurements to take stream geometry measurements and create sketch maps. One of the most impactful things I have learned so far is how to design and choose a stream surveying site with methods that will be easy for future surveyors to replicate.

Overall, I have learned a lot about stream surveying and how to complete the appropriate measurements according to the Rosgen method. I am excited to choose the cross sections and permanent surveying points for the second stream reach in the upcoming months.


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