Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Unforgettable Summer

By Matt Brust

Matt Brust, Carrie Taylor, Simba Blood and Jordan Wein
after a long, muddy day harvesting carp at Kohlman Basin

If I could explain my experience as Water Quality Monitoring Intern at Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District in one word it would be OUTSTANDING. It has been both a challenging and enjoyable summer.

I leaned many new skills and gained an abundance of information that I'll continue to apply to other jobs in my future career path.

I learned how to operate and install several types of monitoring equipment including Isco samplers and flow modules, data loggers and level loggers. I had never used equipment like this before, and it has been a good learning opportunity.

I also learned a lot about how stormwater is treated. For instance, I helped monitor three different types of filters - an alum pond, an enhanced sand filter and a spent lime filter. I learned that all three filters are effective ways of removing contaminants, including phosphorus and nitrogen from stormwater.

Time passed by very quickly this 2015 monitoring season, I guess because I was so busy collecting water samples after rain events, cleaning trash racks, downloading monitoring equipment and learning how watershed districts operate. 

A few of my favorite activities this summer were collecting lake samples, inspecting the tunnel at Battle Creek, helping with the Keller Regional Park native restoration and working on the Kohlman Basin Drawdown. 

Matt checks the samplers after a rain event while on a Fish Creek Tour.

I especially enjoyed the lake sampling. Those days hardly felt like work at all, since I was in the boat and able to enjoy beautiful summer days while taking the samples. 

It was a unique opportunity to help with the Battle Creek tunnel inspection. I had never seen an inspection like this done and it was an awesome experience to witness.

Matt helps with a native planting at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

Another great experience was helping school groups from the District with the native restoration at Keller Regional Park. It was exciting to see how engaged the students were as they helped to beautify the area.

Matt interacts with the public while manning
the Storm Drain Goalie Booth at WaterFest.

One of the most interesting projects that I was able to be a part of was the Kohlman Basin Drawdown. The drawdown was done
to help eradicate carp in the Phalen Chain
of Lakes. It was a rewarding experience to know that we removed 450 carp from the chain. Those were some very muddy days!

Now that my 2015 intern season is coming to an end, I would like to thank the staff for allowing me to learn new skills from everybody, and to be a part of this outstanding organization. I did not expect  to learn as much as I did. All the staff were great teachers, as well as awesome professionals in their fields.

It certainly has been a great journey, which I will continue to talk about for years to come.

Thank you!

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