Last updated: April 10, 2015
Natural News: #1
~Your inside scoop to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s Natural Resources Program~
The Natural Resources Program at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a small but passionate group of people working to keep the park’s resources safe and clean for both visitors and wildlife. Since we tend to work behind the scenes, aka deep in the woods, I thought this brief column would be a great chance to let you all know who we are and what we are up to this summer.
Natural Resources is headed by Dale Nisbet. Dale joined the Park Service in 1989 and has been at Harpers Ferry for 15 years. He is our fearless leader who is teaching us all about caring for the natural resources at Harpers Ferry.
The division has two interns this summer, Andrew Wilk and Katelyn Walters (me). Andrew attends Frostburg State University, majoring in recreation and parks management. This summer, he is working on a project involving trash dumped in the park. He plans to make a video, post signs and host a group of volunteers for a trash pick-up day. He hopes that his efforts will encourage employees and visitors alike to keep the park clean and leave no trace.
I am a senior at Shepherd University majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. This summer, I am conducting a joint project between Shepherd and Harpers Ferry involving water quality. Every week, I collect samples from the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers for analysis; searching for traces of phosphate, nitrate, bromide and chloride. In conjunction, I am using those chemicals to determine any abnormalities that may appear during Xenopus laevis (African Clawed Frog) and Lymnaea palustris (Common Pond Snail) embryo development.
We also have two volunteers this summer: Johnny Lazzorine and Alexandra Vlk. Johnny is a graduate of Shepherd University with a degree in environmental studies. Alexandra has a degree in ecology and environmental biology from James Madison University. They are both great assets to the team and aid Andrew and I in our projects.
From all of us at Natural Resources, we look forward to working with you and are excited for an awesome Summer 2013!