Booked and Busy

Booked and Busy

I have a busy 20 weeks ahead of me. As the days go by, I doubt I will experience a dull day. As the Natural Resource Management Assistant with the aquatic sciences, I have three focus points. These include fish surveys, water quality analysis, and mussel reintroduction. Even though each project has their own topic, all come down to the quality of the river.

My fish surveys are done on a less frequent basis. I will be participating in three surveys working alongside USGS. Electro-fishing will be used for collection at our sample sites. The purpose of these surveys is to see the population dynamics of the local communities and see where they are moving throughout the river plus if any are leaving. To collect such data, we identify, measure, and take genetic samples (as needed) and chip each fish with a pit tag (when applicable).

A project that is a little more frequent is the mussel reintroduction. This project was created at Cleveland State University through the Kreb’s Lab. The lab has added numerous mussels back into the Cuyahoga River with pit tags attached to them. By being a functional member of the lab, I will be helping tracking the movements of the mussels and looking into if other areas of the park are suitable for new inhabitants.

My final big project is testing for E. coli throughout the river. Due to the sewage developments and agriculture near the river, they can impact the levels of E. coli. Over the years, data has been collected but hasn’t been thoroughly evaluated. My goal for my term is to see the correlation between the amount of E. coli in the river to the impact of the biodiversity and human health and discuss all that can be done for improvements.

To many, a 20-week term may feel like forever, but when there’s a lot planned, it can be all over in a blink of an eye. Each project will have me using my education in ways that I never imagined. Hopefully by the time my term is over, what I accomplished continues to put the river in a positive direction.

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