Hot Work In The Summertime

By Jeffrey Robichaud

Boy did the summer get away from me. Unlike one of my fav Sly and the Family Stone songs, it was mostly Hot Work in the Summertime this year. I had intentions of posting a series of entries about urban waters, but instead we spent most of the summer conducting monitoring around Kansas City, across the Midwest, and even the Gulf of Mexico. Although, I have lots to blog about, I would be a heel if I didn’t first give a big thank you to a couple of special folks who just left us.

This year we partnered with Greenworks in Kansas City who graciously summertimeagreed to share one of their students with us to help in sampling urban lakes. Aeesha was a great help to us as we sampled over 30 lakes in the metro for chemistry, bacteria, bugs, fish, and habitat. Although I know she had fun sampling, I think her favorite part was helping to establish a mussel collection…yes you might not believe it but there are mussels in urban streams.

We also saw the return of two of the hardest working interns anywhere, Loren and Megan, who joined us for a third and fourth tour of duty. Both have grown up before our eyes, and learned a ton since the first time we had them aspirate algae off rocks (you really don’t want to know). I’m not sure that we will know what to do without them next year if they don’t return.

So a big thank you to, as my staff calls them, “our kids” who returned to school this fall, since your energy always reminds us older folks why we care about urban water quality. Or as Sly might say, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).

About the author: Jeffery Robichaud is a second generation scientist with EPA who started in 1998. He serves as Chief of the Environmental Assessment and Monitoring Branch in Kansas City.

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