Monday, November 22nd, 2010

California Water Issues

Day three on the West Coast was spent in 2 places, Rush Ranch and Napa. We all loved the “late” departure from the hotel, 8 a.m., a luxury for BotS-ers. After piling into the 3 Suburbans we headed off to Rush Ranch so we could see Suisun Marsh. At the Ranch we met with Dr. Josh Collins from the San Francisco Estuary Institute. He talked us through the in and outs of a Tidal Marsh, including how it is formed, what lives there and how it is dynamically changing. It was a great experience because he was able to build […]

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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 “perfect storm.” 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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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Hello California!

For the next two weeks, BotS will be traveling around the West Coast learning about watersheds and comparing them to the Susquehanna watershed. We started our trip in San Francisco where our hotel was located, literally, on the San Andreas Fault. It was relaxing to wake up and both see and hear the Pacific Ocean out our windows. On this rainy day we have scheduled a driving tour of the Sacramento River Delta, led by Bucknell Alum Adam Paris ’99. Adam has done some environmental restoration work in the San Francisco Bay Area and is well versed on the stops […]

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Lower Susquehanna

Located along the mid-Susquehanna River, Bucknell University sees only half of what passes through the watershed into the Chesapeake Bay. Last week, the Bucknell on the Susquehanna program took a journey to the lower reaches of the watershed to explore contrasts and similarities to our own portion of the basin. Monday Stop I: Lancaster County Planning Commission After a bit of a close call with a tree , BotS arrived at the Lancaster County Courthouse to meet with members of the county planning commission, and to hear about the challenges and successes of Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive county development plan. With […]

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

The lower Susquehanna River Valley

This past week was focused around the lower Susquehanna Valley and included a trip to the Lancaster area where we were introduced to a variety of topics ranging from county planning to power sources, new and old. Not so bright but very early Monday morning we were met at our dorm by the BotS Mobile to head off to Lancaster. We headed straight to the center of the city and met with the Lancaster County Planning Commission. We learned that because Pennsylvania is a commonwealth the duty of land planning is given to the local levels of government. This makes […]

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Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Stop…Look…Listen

There are many types of photography, but all of them aim to achieve the same basic principle: to stop time. The role of the photographer is to choose what portion of space is to be frozen in time, for what length of time, and what is the focus of the image. I have personally become quite accustomed to journalistic photography, which focuses primarily on capturing people and places in action. Most of my blog so far has displayed this form of photography, capturing BotS in many of the unique locations we visit, usually pointing at, picking up, or sampling some […]

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

Capturing nature

During this week’s nature photography project, one thing stuck with me: “Slow down.” Cub Khan, a nature photographer, came to Lewisburg this week to instruct us how to use our cameras to photograph nature. While instructing us on the use of tripods, Cub mentioned that they unintentionally force you to slow down and examine what you do. Below is a photo tour of where we went this past week: Bucknell, Bucknell Natural Area, Tall Timbers Old Growth Forest, Northumberland and Montandon Marsh. The Susquehanna River Symposium also taught me to slow down and examine the river’s watershed with smaller ideas […]

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Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Susquehanna river towns

Last week, we focused on the river towns of the Susquehanna River. We focused on the small towns that surround the Lewisburg area and went on a tour led by Bucknell Professor Ben Marsh of Environmental Studies and Geography. The tour was very interesting and I learned a lot about Pennsylvania’s traditional social structure. Our first stop, the Pennsdale Meeting House, was built just like the other small homes in the area and as Professor Marsh explained, it was because when the building was built in the 1700s, everyone had the same social core, a conservative ideal with a strong […]

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