Field Work Along the Monkey River

Latitude: 16.365363° N; Longitude: -88.484445° W

We broke into three groups today. One did beach profiles. One conducted community surveys in the village. And my group went by water taxi up the Monkey River. The river was running low so we couldn’t get quite as far as we had liked, but where we reached, we put in a couple of sediment samplers to check for sediment flow volume overnight. We dropped a couple of samplers at the mouth of the river, as well.

On our way back downstream, we took observations and collected water quality samples at measured intervals. When I say ‘we’ I really mean the students did all the work and I was along for the ride. I used a tablet PC and GIS data I got from a contact at Galen University to figure out where we were but the students did their own data collection and taking of GPS waypoints.

The Monkey River is beautiful. There were nearly no signs of human visitors along this stretch but plenty of wild life. Alligators, iguanas, black howler monkeys (hence the river’s name), and lots of bird life – herons, ibis’, oropendola, kingfishers, a small hawk – it was Wild Kingdom, man!

At night, once we all get back together back at the hotel’s restaurant, we heard a debriefing of each others field day. It was a perfect first day in the field.

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