By: Megan Zeiher, Recruitment Coordinator—July 20, 2018
Eimy Quispe serves as a Conservation Apprentice with the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). She recently learned how to check groundwater monitoring wells, a project that happens mid-month in order to evaluate the status of the aquifers they feed from. Through this process Eimy is able to report on the water table levels.
“We uncap the well and chalk up the measuring tape (this is done so that we have a better reading on where exactly the water level is). From there we pay attention to where we believe the tape has reached the water and record the number to which the top part of the well is at and then start to reel in the tape until we observe the water mark and record this number as well. Afterward, the tape is cleaned up and the well capped to move on to the next one. There are four locations within Carlton County where we do this.”
Eimy’s schedule is always changing and no two days are structured the same—she is currently working on several different projects! They include: culvert inventory, community outreach, event planning, well-monitoring, stream water quality checks, working with partner organizations, helping her site supervisor lead an intern and any tasks that come up on a daily basis.
The Kettle River Watershed Tour is one of outreach events Eimy has been a part of this summer. She helped prepare materials, assisted with planning the tour and is currently working on a virtual tour using Arc Story Maps so the information is available to the general public, in addition to the event attendees. She is also looking forward to an upcoming BioBlitz at one of the stream restoration sites.
“This event will engage the public on the relationship between macroinvertebrates, plants and stream health—while explaining why the stream was restored.”
Although having multiple projects happening at the same time can be a challenge, Eimy believes it has taught her time-management and prioritization skills. Her favorite part of being a Conservation Apprentice is being exposed to the variety of natural resource management planning aspects and learning what it takes to get projects started.
“I think this is something the general public is not usually exposed to, and I’m very happy to be a part of it. I also love to see the relationship between several factors in the natural world. For example, how water quality can be affected by zoning regulations, forested areas, species living in a stream, etc. I think this is extremely interesting and important to learn about.”