I've just returned from about 2.5 weeks up in Washington. In doing so I managed to avoid the wet weather that has been going on down here in Cali and get some nice PNW sun. The trip was productive and, in addition to getting the wave gauge in place I also spent a week on the beach tracking rocks and attended the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin conference (more on that in a future post).
A few lessons: First, working along during winter night-time low tides is no fun. A huge thank you to Adrian Shulock, Suzanne Gray and Lindsey Schroemen-Wawren for coming out with me on Saturday and Sunday. My PIT tag reader has a little beeper on it that chimes when I find a rock. During the first four days when I was working alone the repeated ringing when I found tags was starting to drive me a bit batty. Having another soul out there is the antidote.
Next lesson: In the winter, rocks move further and get buried deeper than in the summer. We had a big winter swell, and it makes a big difference. Following rocks around gets a lot harder during a swell.
Despite the hardships I think i collected a nice data set - this week will be spent combing through it in the hopes that this is true.
As the Coastal Hazards Specialist for Washington Sea Grant I spend my time on research, education and outreach on topics like chronic erosion, climate change, tsunami and other coastal hazards. Current projects include:
1) monitoring the shoreline of the Elwha River delta to detect changes due to the Elwha Dam Removal
2) Assessing the influence of climate change on the resources of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
3) Evaluating the impact of debris from the Tohoku tsunami on the shorelines of the Olympic Peninsula