Jul. 11, 2018
Grace Pollard Joins WWT as a Summer Intern:First Weeks on the Job
As a Seattle native, I have always had the ability to hop in the car for less than an hour and escape out into nature for the afternoon. Yet as climate change intensifies and our water supply is challenged by increasing demand for instream and out of stream uses, the rivers that provide my favorite swimming and camping spots get lower and lower during hot, late summer months. That is why my internship with Washington Water Trust feels incredibly impactful, beyond what I am doing to help both the environment and water users alike.
As a rising senior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, I study Environmental Studies and Geology. Water is a scarce resource out in Eastern Washington, and my work in both departments has taught me about the policies and ethics behind environmental work, as well as the geology and hydrology of the specific region. I am excited to spend my summer furthering my understanding of water policy and stream flow restoration, and to bring that knowledge back to Whitman in the fall.
My first two weeks on the job have already been packed with office and field work. Getting out into the watersheds I have been learning about has been a great way to help me understand all of the information I am being given in the office. For two days, I traveled to the Dungeness basin with WWT Project Manager, Emily Dick to visit the aquifer recharge sites which support the Dungeness Water Exchange. We visited four aquifer recharge sites and also toured three different potential recharge sites. Seeing the setup in-person and hearing from people who work every day with the machinery and engineering was a great way to further my understanding of aquifer recharge. During our trip to the Dungeness, Emily and I also collected water usage data from wells that are a part of the Dungeness Water Exchange mitigation program. While it was a lot of time spent in the car, I got to see beautiful parts of Sequim that I would probably never see otherwise and leaned about mitigation and the Exchange.
I also traveled out to WWT's Ellensburg office for a day trip with Investments & Partnerships Officer, Hannah Kennedy. While in Ellensburg, Hannah and I met with WWT Project Manager, Arden Thomas to discuss several projects on which I will be assisting. I was lucky enough to be taken on an impromptu field trip around the area to see various river restoration projects in the Upper Yakima basin. I now know that spending an afternoon outside it one of the best ways to get out of the office!
I look forward to future adventures with Washington Water Trust this summer and will be sharing more highlights soon!
Grace Pollard, originally from Seattle, is the 2018 Whitman College intern at Washington Water Trust. Grace is an Environmental Studies and Geology major and will be a Senior this fall.