Friday, July 10, 2015


Eddie's and Casey's

Today, we going to eat Lunch after Canoe Skills. This place called Eddie's. Eddie's set up 60 years it was 1947 after World War II. Aaron and me shared to ate Fries French and Hot Dogs with cheese and onions. That's my first time to eat. I never see that place before. After eat Eddie's place then we went to across street. The place, a Casey's. Casey's is the Ice Cream. I was decide to eat ice cream name Cobnuts. It was so good! I like both to eat. Next time, maybe my family's and me going to eat Eddie's. That's all I thinks so.

Stream Table

           Today we visited the Alden building and saw the stream table. A stream table looks like a big tub filled with sand. At one end was a water tap and over time it creates a miniature creek. We got to fiddle with the water volume and add dams. It was very interesting to watch the erosion and deposition in action. The other sand table that was in Alden was a virtual topographic map. It looked just like a topographical map but the sensor could detect the height of the sand and changed when the sand moved too. When you put your hand under the sensor it simulated rainfall on the map. Apparently there are only 50 like them in the US. I thought the building was very interesting and the professor did a really good job explaining the stream table and parts of a stream.

Abandoned mine Drainage

We were treated to a very interesting presentation about the history of coal mining in Pennsylvania and how it affects the ecosystem today. I had no idea being a miner was so tough! It was interactive as well; we played a game where we were miners and determined the health of water before and after being treated for mine drainage pollution. I really enjoyed it and am now resolute to go to college so I won't have to be a miner.

tour of the dam

Today for creek camp we went on a tour at woodcock dam .We learned lots of interesting facts at the dam . We learned that the woodcock creek leads to other water sources . The woodcock creek goes to the french creek , which leads into the Allegheny river , then to Ohio river , goes to the Mississippi river . We also learned the jobs of the dam . Some basic reasons what the dam is used for .  One reason the dam is used is because it protects us . When it is raining hard the dam holds the water in the stream so it does not flood . Also when it is too dry lucky there is a river behind the dam , so it will not get to dry for the living species such as fish , and other bugs do not get to dry and die . One more reason that the dam is used for recreation by people such as , boating , fishing , and swimming . We also found at that the dam was made of dirt and concrete .

Carr-den: The sweeter side of the student community

As a person that adores gardens, natural settings, local farming, and the like; the Allegheny College Carr-den did not disappoint.Taking a general tour allowed us to see the many different things being harvested from the community garden and discuss the positive aspects local farming provides. It was pointed out by Kirsten that local growing takes away the need for large scale production which often uses pesticides and herbicides. Not only are these things unhealthy to ingest when we consume the food picked, it can also get washed into the surrounding water systems which creates problems for the wildlife that live there. Instead they use other methods of deterring pests and infections from spreading through their crop. It was incredibly interesting for her to describe those other methods like planting flowers that could entice the bugs away from the tomatoes and example, or planting different varieties of produce within the garden box.

Each of the items discussed gave insight to the group about what problems both local and large-scale farmers run into and how their choices impact the environment. Kirsten was very good at delivering the information in a direct manner that gave little room for confusion. After going over the essentials, and teamed with two other students that work in the garden during the summer, we were able to pick carrots and beets that would be sold in that day's market. Without too much hassle, most people understood what they were looking for and went at it. This might have been my favorite part, because it makes me feel very connected to what I eat and gives me perspective as to what should be going into my body. Today's experience felt very close to home, and it was a real treat getting the opportunity to be involved and get dirty.

Herp hunt

      Today April came and talked to us about amphibians and reptiles native to Pennsylvania. After giving us an introduction to all of them that live around here we got to go out in the woods around a creek and look for salamanders, frogs, and other amphibians. After all that hiking and overturning every rock or log in the woods, each of us discovered a few salamanders was really fun to go looking for these amphibians cause I hadn't seen any in nature myself before. All together we found 13 species of salamanders, toads, and frogs.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lots and Lots of Stars

Picture this: You are exhausted. You've been going full speed for days. Hurrying from one amazing and exciting thing to the next and then you are in a dimly lit room, in comfy chairs, at 9:30 at night. What would you do? Now if we had been talking about the stages of mold growth or something to that effect, we might just have all taken power naps right there. But Professor Lombardi was describing to us, the secrets of the universe. He started by showing us an animation. It began with a shot of a football player on a football field and picture by picture it slowly zoomed out. Showing the entire the Earth, then the solar system then the Galaxy and then farther and farther out until the diagram was 100 billion light years wide.

He told us that there are about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that's 1 with 22 zeros behind it) stars in the universe. He didn't even try to say 10 bajillion or what ever it would have ended up as, but simply, a 1 with 22 zeros behind it. He said that the universe isn't infinite, or at least the space that contains the galaxies isn't. He tried to describe to us how that works by asking us to picture a balloon that contains all of the galaxies and then as the balloon expanded the galaxies all... Honestly, by that point my mind had blown for so long that I couldn't begin to pull together the scraps of my brain to fathom what he was describing. I think mind blowing needs to be taken in small doses.

We looked at the stars projected on the domed ceiling while he pointed out constellations. We pretty much all agreed that Big Bear and Little Bear really should have been named Big Cat and Little Cat because no bear could have that long a tail. Alexx now wants to name her kids after the three stars in the Summer Triangle, Vega, Deneb and Altair and I need to go learn more about astronomy because it was just so amazing that I can't come up with good enough words to describe the experience and was definitely my favorite thing all week.

Introduction to Herp-Life

I once thought I was relatively interested in aquatic life and the creepy crawlers that live in dark places. But I was once again surprised by how incredible and interesting they really were when you're with a trained professional. Mainly because all that time they spend with their water friends they find out all kinds of neat pieces of information we regular people aren't aware of. Her love and passion of them was really well translated when she was talking about her friends, and it was great to see just how much she loved her job. It isn't everyday you find someone as in love with their occupation as April was. She even described how she came to living her dream and finding her path after college. She is very excited to share everything she knows with anyone who will listen; her enthusiasm is very much appreciated. When she brought out all the critters to play I nearly hopped out of my seat. I wasn't sure if I was more scared or excited to examine these beauties. Today was really just quite incredible both inside and outside. It was great to know I could handle a snake getting tangle in my hair... Who knew?

Fresh Water Mussels and the Nature Center

  Today our mussel lesson on French Creek got cancelled due to the weather.  Since, we could not go onto the creek we went to Woodcock Creek Nature Center and met with Brian Pilarcik and had our lesson on fresh water muscles there.  At the center we learned how many fresh water mussels there are and we saw how hard they are to tell apart.  We also learned how pearls are formed!

   While we were at the center we got to look around on our own and we saw a tree cookie that had a ring from when the Declaration of Independence was signed!  A tree cookie is a slice from a cut down tree where you can view all of the rings.  It was labled with major events that happened during the trees life.
My favorite part was probably the bee hive that had a plastic tube that connected to the outside of the building so that the bees could come and go whenever they wanted.

Fish Hatchery

Today, we learned about the different types of fish!

Terrestrial insects

My name is Aaron wade . Today i learned about insects with Beth . We also went on a interesting insect hunt . The hunt was in front of Carr hall . We stayed in front of the building for about the first 20 mins . We had a list of what type of bugs to look for . we were looking for bugs that had 2 wings , 3 wings , and shells . They were just examples . To be direct we were looking for beetles and dragonflies and different bugs like that . Then we went to the garden , a little away from Carr hall . I found way more bugs up there . we checked off everything on our list what we seen . whoever found the most bugs at the end won a prize. Everyone got a sticker to put ob there bottles . I did not really enjoy it in the begin because i could not find any bugs . When we went to the garden that is when i started to enjoy myself . After the hunt everybody got a sticker and we left !


Today we visited the spillway. It was raining very hard at first, so we didn't have much company, but luckily the weather cleared up. At the spillway you can feed some very large carp -- the water is thick with them and they compete for the bread. It was very entertaining.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


    On Tuesday night we went looking for bats and had a bat presentation by Terry Lobdell.  I personally had never seen a bat close up but I really enjoyed looking at them.  Terry built a bat house at Woodcock Creek Nature Center that is mounted on a pole and can be lowered for viewing purposes.  Once the house is lowered you can open the front to look inside at the house that is protected by a plastic screen.  To our surprise there was actually a bat inside!  It was decided that it was most likely a male Little Brown Bat since it was all by itself.  After the pups are born the male bats house separately from the females and pups.

      While we were at the center we got to shine a flash light into the box and see the bats inside.  I even got to see one yawn.  The bats yawn and groom themselves just like dogs or cats.  It was estimated that there was about twenty bats inside the bat house.

      A fact that I thought was interesting about the pups is that they are born without hair or teeth!  Overall I had a wonderful experience.

Canoe skills

Today we went down to Woodcock Creek Lake to learn how to canoe. The instructor, Chad, showed us how to pick out the right oars, the correct way to paddle, how to get in and out of the canoe, etc. Once we got in the water we canoed down in front of the Woodcock dam and did some practice laps to get the hang of it. It is really a lot easier than it looks. For most of us it was our first experience in a canoe and i thought it was a lot of fun and Chad explained it nicely for us being inexperienced.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Electro-Shock Fishing

After doing the water tests and kicknets this morning we were met by Jay Gerber and his two interns Killian and Darren to learn about electro-shock fishing. Basically electro-shock fishing is a style of fishing sends out a low current of electricity that causes minimal harm to fish, catches a large variety and amount of fish and is reasonably quick. The fisher walked slowly upstream stunning the fish while a crowd of campers followed behind catching the fish in nets. The electro-shock works by passing a current between two metal rods and any fish in the area are mildly shocked and easy to collect. Some fish recovered quickly while others took a bit longer based on size and species. Jay told us that only about 5% of the fish die after being shocked and they are mostly the tiny ones. We caught fish from as little as an inch and a half long to eight inches. In the end we caught 10 different types of fish and between 45 and 60 total. This proved that the water was healthy for wildlife to inhabit because a number of the fish were indicator species - low pollution tolerant -  and the diversity were very interesting to observe.
Melissa has no fish

Water Chemistry and Macros Upstream

My name is Seth, and my panther Aaron. Today, we going to Woodcock dam Upstream, French creek. We learned about to how do water chemistry and macros upstream. Aaron and I were doing water chemistry, a Phosphates and Alkalinity. We were going to get bugs from Kick Netting and we had more bugs 28.6 than yesterday. If tomorrow we ahead to get bugs again, then I hope it will more than less number. We met Jay Gerber with his two PA Dep. They teach us to how to caught a fish as small in the river. That's all I think so.

Owls Rules!

Last night was so blast! because we went to see the owls and a moon also a juvenile! The coolest thing is that a Great Horned Owl flew our heads! We saw it two times and also we saw a Barred Owl!

French Creek

I am not a swimmer, but I have faced my fears!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Water Chemistry and Macros

Starting off the week, we had lots of adventures. Today we went down to the downstream site of Woodcock Creek pretty much right under Woodcock Dam. It was so fun to learn all the ins and outs of water chemistry! Knowing how difficult it was for US, it's certainly insane to imagine to how much work goes into collecting hundreds - thousands - of samples for the real scientists. Definitely not trying to take away the amazing work that we creepy campers did, because we certainly were super stars coming up with stellar results. Our findings showed that our portion of the creek was fantastically healthy, having high levels of oxygen, low temperatures for this time of year, and so on.

Those results were proven from the many many tiny life forms we found next. Taking this big yellow net we went to work. Learning awesome new dance moves was a bonus in our macroinvertebrate search. It was ridiculous just how much life was squirming and wiggling in our nets by the time we got it out of the water. Who knew baby crayfish were so cute?! It was also so interesting to see how many different kinds of flies and fly larva (which isn't as gross as it sounds) there were in the nets. All in all, today was such an incredible adventure, I can only imagine the treats we are in for next!

Team Building

        On Sunday night after all of the campers got settled into the apartments, we participated in some activities and games that were planned to introduce ourselves.  We only got to have name tags for one day, so it was very important to learn each other's names.
        First, we all went around in a circle and did the common activity of saying our name, the school we go to, and one thing we really wanted to do here.  Most people said the part of camp that they were most interested in was canoeing.
        Then, we all played pulse.  Pulse is a very challenging game of constant tapping which is way harder than it sounds!  It was a game all about speed and reaction time.
         By the end of the night we were all introduced and we all felt more comfortable being around each other.


One of our first activities after arriving was geocaching, which can be best described as a scavenger hunt using a GPS. Scattered around the campus were several "treasure chests." (containers) By entering the coordinates of the hidden containers into the GPS's, we were able to find out how far we were from them and which direction we should go in order to find. They were also hidden out of sight. Each container held the coordinates of the next one. Some were more difficult to find than others,  but in the end we located all of them and also found bags containing all the things we'll need for this week. We celebrated with cold freezy pops!
- Soren

Last night was so blast! Because I love the game we played last night but its was so confusing! I want to do it again! This my first best night ever!