Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rain, geophones, and animals … Oh my!

Our first day of deployment did not go as planned.  Inclement weather slightly dampened our spirits, but it’s amazing how omni-dry pants and waterproof boots can combat that!  Our second day was still wet, but the rain was not nearly as torrential.  The good news was that the heavy rain had softened many of the sites so it was not as difficult to dig.  In fact, many of the deployment teams were able to bury over half of their geophones in that second day.

Curious cows....
Deployment, like surveying, has its own interesting encounters - from curious neighbors to farm animals and reptiles.  Curious neighbors have both shared their enthusiasm for the project as well as offered their services due to our flashing hazard lights when we pulled over to deploy.  Cows also seem to be very interested in our activities as many times they have curiously walked over and stared intently in our direction while we work, all the while “mooing” as if alarming the others.   We also have seen many calves and kids suckling, which yielded many “awwwws.”  The scariest encounter is most likely that of snakes.  They are sneaky, as they hide in the brush!

Unwelcome visitor....

Deployment is tough work.  By the end of the day, we are tired from digging and navigating on soggy and muddy dirt roads.  After returning back to home base (the gym), we get together for dinner and enjoy a few laughs and tears (happy ones, of course!).   It is this camaraderie that makes the SUGAR project all the more better because of the camaraderie. 

Chastity Aiken
Georgia Institute of Technology