Watershed Moments This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I stood waist deep in Kelsey Creek, a pristine salmon run in the Mercer Slough that supports river otters, water bugs and the elusive blue heron. Overhead I heard only the faint beat of hummingbird wings and the occasional early morning jogger, whose steps felt like small earthquakes because the water in the ground amplified the pounding of their feet. After performing an alkalinity titration to check for variation in the stream’s ability to buffer acid, my intern group trekked through the blackberry-infested stream banks to document its topology.

As an intern for the Mercer Slough/Pacific Science Center, I had the opportunity not only to utilize my experience in chemical titrations, but also to mentor local elementary-school students. I taught them the dynamics of the watershed using wetland models and created an obstacle course where students simulated the lifecycle of salmon. It was rewarding to hear their laughter when they pretended to be evaporating raindrops and to see their amazement when viewing mosquito larvae magnified 50 times on Bug TV. My students’ enthusiasm excited me, especially when they learned a new fact. I taught them the effects of erosion or how a water boatman (an insect) carries an air bubble under its wings so it can breathe underwater.

The teenage mentors I had at their age inspired my love of nature and my interest in science. I’m forever grateful for having this opportunity to educate these children and inspire the next generation of scientists.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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