Thursday, March 14, 2013

Grand Isle

It's that time of the year where patience runs thin when we get a new layer of snow. I'm just glad I got in a nice little ride yesterday. I subscribed to Cycling.tv to keep me sane, too.
We got back from Louisiana last week, it's a beautiful but different place. Not sure why someone would want to live on a house on stilts. We spent a week surveying sand dunes in Grand Isle State Park, mapping out the changes that are happening to the barrier island, Grand Isle. I learned quite a bit about barrier islands and how sand dunes provide natural protection from storm surges. Jon and I worked with a professor from Rochester Community and Technical College, Dr. Moosavi, on this on-going beach restoration project. He started this project when he taught in New Orleans.
It's good training for me, since I will be spending a couple of days doing similar work on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I'll be there for a couple of weeks end of May/early June as a lab TA to some student interns this summer. For the remainder of the 2 weeks on Eleuthera we'll be coring small lakes on the island. Then we come back to Minneapolis to the lab for the rest of the program and do various analysis on the sediment. On Eleuthera my group will be staying at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. It's a totally environmental campus. No napkins, 2 minute showers, re-using gray water, etc. It's going to be cool to see how it all works first-hand. Our group is overlapping what will be the end of a semester for a high school group that will be at the Institute. For the high school kids' "gym class", they have to train all semester for either a half-marathon or a 4 mile swim, so our group will be participating, too. I'm planning on the swim since I can still swim alright with having decent overall fitness and without serious swim training, however, I can't do the same with running. I'm not much of a runner anymore. The only other times I've done any open water swimming was on Hayden Lake in northern Idaho, with my friend Traci. We've done a 1 mile swim and a 6 mile swim. That was a long time ago! I miss living in the same state as her, sad. So I guess I need to find a place to do lap swim.


Writing down data.

Surveying.

Bunkhouse where we stayed at the state park, on stilts.

Oil rig, you could see a number of oil rigs on the horizon, too.

Jon getting a picture of a dolphin.

Bourbon St., at Pat O'Brians before the line got ridiculously long.

Arrgh, mate.

Still a handful of flood damaged homes in Lower 9th Ward from Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

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