On a grey and dreary Thursday, the class set out in our rented, eco-friendly SUVs to head off to Great Pond to collect deep sediment core and water column samples. We would later use the sediment cores to understand how nutrients move from the sediment to the water, where algae can use them. It took lots of bodies to load the corer or “the beast” as we named the contraption cleverly built by the Colby physics department. Not only was the loading of the corer onto the boat a Herculean task in itself, the lowering of the corer from the boat into the water took an incredible amount of time, energy, and bodies to handle the crane attached to the corer. This process was deceivingly simple because it was far too wide for the boat door, the corer had to be raised and then carefully lowered into the water. The entire process of sending the corer down through the water took eleven minutes in addition to the three to four minutes it took to place the stubborn cap on the core sample.
By the time we were finished coring, it was dark, damp, cold, and way past our 5:00pm disbandment. I, however, had an incredibly rewarding time staying out on the water, working side by side with people who were equally invested and weary as I was. There’s something strange about bonding during moments of frustration, exhaustion, and pain…