Far from Over

As I sit in McGlothlin for my last week of “research” (designing and setting up the new lab so that I can reach everything), I realize a few things. For starters, when they say that on-campus move-out is August 5th, they mean that not a soul will be left after that time, and the Grind will be closed. Also, my research is far from over. We spent two months analyzing June data, and we’re still not done. In fact, our gamma counter just finished working on rainfall from January. Once the move to the 3rd floor is complete and we perfect the most efficient ways to analyze data, the process will greatly quicken.

During the school year, we will finish analyzing June data, analyze July data, and collect and analyze data from late September and early November. We will also continue to collect rain data from the bucket outside McGlothlin every ~3 weeks.

I believe that we are supposed to explain our results in this summary, but reality is that I have none. If you would like to hear what we do find with this research, I would invite you to come to Senior Research Saturday in April. There, all of the non-honors Geology seniorsĀ present their thesis research.

It’s been quite an interesting summer, and I’ve learned a lot. I am glad that I stayed in Williamsburg to get a head start on a long project. I am also grateful for the Charles Center for allowing me the opportunity to experience full-time research.

I’m heading home to Boston next week for a quick break before getting to experience full-time classes with research!


  1. waverlygarner says:

    Dear Ms. Holmes,

    Have you ever read “Bringing Nature Home” by Douglas Tallamy? If not and you have a slot available in your reading list, I encourage you to check it out. Your project reminds me of the first section of the book, which discusses habitat islands and other consequences of rapid urbanization. After reading the book, I was struck by how much impact a single, two-lane road could have upon the habitability and health of a local habitat.
    Growing up in Farmville, Richmond was about an hour and a half away by car. My Mum’s side of the family, treasures all, lived near Hanover Courthouse, and I remember (it must have been some time ago; I was teeny) realizing one day during a visit how much farther the outskirts of the city had expanded. It took us no time at all to start seeing shopping centers where trees had once been, and large, empty, red clay lots open for more construction. Every street corner had a Target or a Panera Bread. They had popped out of the ground like spring daffodils and spread like crab grass. All of that pavement. I remember some of my friends from that area being disappointed the year the 17-year cicadas burst out of the ground. Because of all of the construction, the numbers were much lower than they had been 17 years prior.
    Prior to your blog posts, I had never considered the effect of paved surfaces and urbanization upon our water table. You have inspired me to investigate the literature. What inspired you to take on this project? Did you happen upon the idea while reading, or did it come up in lecture or lab brainstorming?
    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Thank you for your passion for the environment.

    P.S. They were not at all kidding about move-out. I barely made it!