Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water sampling day

Water sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

Water Sampling day

This entire week I had the opportunity to shadow various professionals that work within Lake Mead NRA. I have learned so much of what their job entails and how important their role is for the entire park. The biological technician position stood out to me the most because it reminded me of how much I miss doing experiments when I was in biology lab courses. Having a career that allows one to do experiments on a daily basis while having the opportunity to enjoy the environment is pretty awesome in my opinion. The day started bright and early on Tuesday. We decided to get the water sampling started as early as possible due to the excessive heat wave that was expected for the day. We began the water sampling journey from the marina and then worked our way towards the eight areas in Lake Mead with heaviest visitor use. The locations we covered during the sampling were Hemenway Harbor, Boulder Beach, Boxcar Cove, Callville Bay, Sandy Cove, Middle Point and Petroglyph Bay. Safety was definitely a priority throughout the entire journey around the lake. Ben Smith, which is the biological technician for Lake Mead walked us through the various water sampling procedures and explained the importance handling the equipment properly. He first demonstrated how to gather the water samples and record the data. Afterwards, he allowed us to do it on our own and was there to help and answer any questions we had. I am the type of person that learns best through hands-on work and interaction so, this activity really grabbed my attention from the beginning to the end. We all worked as a team and were able to complete the project before the estimated time. We even had time to take a little break since, some of us decided to cool off a bit and jump into the lake (with our lifejackets on obviously). Those short two minutes in the water really helped refresh us throughout the remaining portion of the water sampling routine. At that moment I do not think there was a better feeling than being soaked with water and then feeling the breeze streak against my entire body as we were moving on the boat towards the next location. Without a doubt the entire trip was a beauty! Water recreational activities in Lake Mead are the most popular type of activities during the summer. The popularity of water activities in the lake and the amount of visitors that use the lake to recreate during the summer is the reason why water safety is huge during this time of year. Water sampling is very important for water safety since it is used to evaluate the effect of visitors recreating in the areas that they do. The results from the data gathered are all extremely important because it is catalogued and then analyzed to predict any future trends to the water quality conditions. However, if any of the areas were to report bacteria concentration values above the standards, important procedures would follow like, resampling the water, increase monitoring efforts in that location, release of notifications to the public, swim advisories, or even closures of particular areas to the public. Ben stated that, in the history of his program there has never been an outbreak and has only made it to the stage where they have had to resample the water but after that the conditions have always returned to normal. Not only did I learn so much on this day but I also had a lot of fun while doing so. We were also lucky enough to spot a wild burro during the journey. Many of the pictures I took during this day are sceneries that can only be seen and reached by boat. Without a doubt, this has been one of my most memorable experiences at the park by far.

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