Hello from New Zealand!
We added 2 members to our group last night. Dr. Ayla P. flew in from Antarctica, she is a scientist who is also really into volcanoes too. Damien flew up from Christchurch, New Zealand. He is a high school teacher from down there who I am going to be collaborating with. Everyone in our group is super nice. I am learning a ton from all of them. A lot of the time they are talking 90 miles over my head, but it is just cool being around people who are super passionate about their research. They question each other and share ideas all the time, first thing in the morning, over morning tea or coffee, at lunch, riding in the van……pretty much constantly!
Today we took a ride up to the Matahina Dam. Dr. Chad Deering gave a talk about the Matahina eruption.
We also discussed the eels that live in the rivers and how the local people deal with helping them get past the dam to spawn. They live up in the lakes and rivers and then head out to sea to spawn. There is a project where people collect the eels in barrels and drive them up and around the two hydroelectric dams.
We drove to find some more samples and had to hike in on a logging road. They are clear cutting, and it looked like a moonscape! There are also these huge holes on the side of the road to deal with rainwater runoff. Those pictures are on my phone, so I will have to add them tomorrow.
After we collected the samples we went into a town called Kawerau and sat down and talked about how we, as a group of teachers and scientists, can bring this information and experiences to our students. And find a way to share it with other teachers as well and create resources for others to use. We had a lot of good discussion and I look forward to working with Damien and this group of scientists.
After lunch we rode up to Terawera Falls. It was absolutely amazing.
We also took a dip in the river, it was chilly but very refreshing. It has been a bit warm, and I may even be getting a tan!
Tomorrow we are taking a boat out to White Island, which is an active volcano. It is going to be so cool!
Look for an update tomorrow after our trip.
Love to all my people.