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Building a Foundation (Week One)

I arrived in Oregon on a Saturday and immediately began to familiarize myself with area, especially how to get to CMOP from the apartments. I did not really know what to expect, as I have not yet had the chance to really get into the environmental science realm while in college. I arrived at CMOP at 8:30 am with an open mind and ready to go. I went through orientation, which was informal and to the point. We learned the dos and don’ts of the center. I did not have to keen of an idea of what to expect from the project, but I had an idea, as I was able to have a phone conversation with Dr. Baptista earlier in April. The first four of us, finished up the orientation and then Vanessa gave us a tour and handed us off to our front line mentors. I was really excited to meet with Dr. Baptista and could not wait to develop a firm understanding of what I would be doing in hopes that it would become second nature. 


I then met with my front line mentor, Grant Law. After we talked and got to know each other, it was then my job to develop as strong of an understanding of the project as possible. This then included a full week of reading. The readings were actually very interesting. I was able to develop a firm understanding of Physical Habitat Opportunity (PHO) and its importance to juvenile Chinook Salmon. After reading all of the academic articles, I found it really interesting the importance of the Columbia River Treaty (CRT). I then decided to read extra articles talking about the treaty, which involved the use of hydroelectric power on the river generated between Canada and the USA. But more importantly, I found it extremely interesting the extent of the effects on the tribal communities with in the area. I come from a reservation in Northern Minnesota, and tribal affairs really intrigue me: especially ones that involve the environment. 


On Friday Grant gave me a couple quick tutorials in matlab. I was also told that I would be able to work with the Columbia River Inner Tribal Fisheries Commission (CRITFC). I read more about them and cannot wait to get involved with that center. I could definitely tell by the end of the week that it was going to be hard to adapt to the 8-hour day schedule (9 am to 5 pm) but I knew I would survive.

 I am really looking forward to the next week and actually being able to work with the model grids and observation data.