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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

To be continued…

It has been my intention for some time to bring this blog to a conclusion, but time and other commitments have kept that from occurring. Most study abroad experiences have a very clear end point, when one finally returns to the familiarity of home. However, for the inaugural semester of Bucknell on the Susquehanna, this feeling is not quite so definite. The Susquehanna River Valley is still very much a part of my daily life now here at Bucknell University, and will continue to be until I graduate. While my time writing for this blog has come to a close, […]

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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

The Tiny Monster: Limestone (Bull) Run in 1972

When the Bucknell on the Susquehanna students were on campus and not electro-shocking local streams, watching salmon spawn in the Pacific Northwest, or meeting with the spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee Nation, we also had the responsibility to conduct another class, unique to each student. Incorporated in the program, one credit hour of the program is to be earned through an independent research project, advised by one of the three faculty. Projects ranged from feasibility analysis of nutrient trading in the Susquehanna watershed, to analysis of Marcellus Shale flowback water across the state (as reported to the DEP), and my […]

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Estuary Restoration and Urban Watersheds

The Boldt Decision of 1974 secured many rights for the Native Americans, but decades of misuse and different priorities do not correct themselves overnight. At the Nisqually Tribal center, we met with tribal members and non-natives alike who have devoted their life to fighting for proper natural resource management and environmental rights. Some of the veterans of the salmon wars still work tirelessly with the local tribes and government, such as Georgiana Kautz, better known as “Porgy.” The results of their work is both exciting and dramatic, even though it may take years to fully realize success. One of these […]

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Speaking for the Salmon: Native American Perspectives in the Northwest

About the same time as the Civil Rights movement was taking the Deep South by storm, another social inequality in the Pacific Northwest was challenged and defeated by unlikely heroes. According to treaties signed in the 1800s between the State of Washington and the existing Native American tribes, the two parties were supposed to be entering joint-custody of the the natural resources such as salmon, shellfish, and hunting grounds. By signing the treaty, tribes such as the Squaxin, Nisqually, and Quiluete were granting the newcoming settlers space and permission to coexist alongside their own cultures, sharing in the bounty of […]

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

A Whole Lot of Driving (Part II)

In my opinion, the coast of the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. This is reflected in a piece that I wrote on a specific beach in Washington State, excerpted on a post a couple of weeks ago. I have visited this region several times in the last decade, but this trip up U.S. Route 101 up the California-Oregon coast is as thrilling and gorgeous now as it was the very first time. Unfortunately it is not possible to stop at every beautiful site along the way, but we did our best to […]

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

A Whole Lot of Driving (Part I)

Since the plan for our West Coast expedition involves starting in San Francisco and ending in the Puget Sound Watershed, there obviously has to be a lot of traveling involved. Unfortunately, one of the Suburbans decided to die in the middle of nowhere on a two-lane highway in the desert. Fortunately it came back to life, but replacing it at Reno delayed the departure of our crossing of the third largest state in the U.S. But before we headed north, we explored some of the intricacies of water rights in the arid West. Based on an archaic system, water appropriation […]

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

San Francisco and Other Watersheds…

San Francisco! To be more precise, the San Francisco Bay. On Thursday, November 11, BotS took two very packed Suburbans across the Bay Bridge and into the city. First on our agenda was to visit with Dr. John Callaway (Environmental Science, University of San Francisco) at Chrissy Field, a restoration project within sight of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Originally a salt marsh rich in biodiversity, the site has seen a wide range of uses in the past century, but only now is it being restored to its natural condition. Western humans seem to have always taken […]

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Monday, November 15th, 2010

Marshes, vineyards and the universe

Mid-way between Sacramento/San Joaquin River Valley and the San Fransico Bay, the Suisun Marsh houses an intricate tidal ecosystem sensitive to extremely minute variations in biological and geomorphological conditions. Joining Dr. Josh Collins at Rush Ranch, our crew took a short trek into the marsh atop a small bedrock outcrop rising above the flat acres of pickleweed. From this vantage point underneath a flight path to a local airbase, Dr. Collins dove into fascinating detail of the tidal landscape spread out before us. Unlike the continental scale tectonic processes we have been observing in the faults of California, tidal systems […]

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Monday, November 15th, 2010

Water, water everywhere…

As the damage to New Orleans from Katrina all but fades from the consciousness of American society, there is a strikingly similar disaster impending on the West Coast, merely awaiting its own ā€œperfect storm.ā€ A sequence of unfortunate but not altogether unlikely events could easily unleash devastation upon hundreds of thousands of residents and millions of dollars of infrastructure below sea level in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river delta. The aging levee system between San Francisco and the state capital has prevented normal deposition of river and tidal sediment, while agriculture and development have drained the ground water and […]

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Westward ho!

Bucknell on the Susquehanna is no longer on the East Coast. On Saturday morning, BotS’s fifth Bucknell bus departed from campus, headed for Harrisburg International Airport. A full day of traveling later, at about 6 p.m. local time, our aircraft touched down in San Francisco under clear skies. For the next two weeks, we will explore comparisons and contrasts between western watersheds, ecology, geology, resource management issues, and more. It has not been easy to get here. The better part of our previous week was spent discussing and preparing for this trip and a year of planning before that on […]

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