Posted on June 19, 2013 by Howard Oh
We were back out on the field today, but now everyone was moving solo. Everyone was now concerned about their own research so the first area of competition was through the trimble units. We only have about 4 of these that can add GPS points with a data dictionary and they were all taken early in the morning. Many of us ended up with hand held GPS units that I got only about 3 meter accuracy and collecting a lot of field notes instead of inputting information to a clean data dictionary. I guess its mostly my fault for not fully preparing last night and thinking that I could get my work done in the morning.
Another change to our usual process is that we all went our separate ways once getting dropped off at Atlantis. After we split off I actually didn’t see anyone else the entire day (except for the tour groups passing by) and it made me realize very quickly that I am on my own and if I fail, I fail alone this time. I focused on getting points of where Hala (Hawaiian Screwpine) was located at the back of the valley. This was my first time attempting to hike the back of the valley all the way up to the ridge line. I found out that there is a significant amount of Hala back here compared to areas closer to the mouth of the valley that are overrun with invasive species. I’m pretty sure this is because cattle have a difficult time getting to these areas with native plants. I also learned that these places are difficult for humans to access as well because I got a workout bushwhacking plants and other shrubs just trying to get a point close to the Hala and Ohia. The view at the top was amazing and had my late lunch up there and then proceeded to collect more points of Hala on the way down. At this point I was running out of camera battery so after about 30 points I decided to head back to base. I lost track of time and saw the TA’s Paul, Briton and Michelle coming in a van to come pick me up. I was the last one out on the field and learned for the first time that we were supposed to meet back at base by 3pm. Oops. However, because of my mistake I was able to help out the hydrology group that went to go kayak near the shore collecting conductivity samples and also go to see Dr. Becker’s place which was right next to the Ka’a'awa Valley like everyone described. I just didn’t know people meant that it was sharing a border with the Kualoa Ranch. I remember taking a point near his backyard to collect a point near the palm trees! haha