By: Emma Bode
Adventure Scientist Emma Bode has collected microplastic water samples around the world, including in her own backyard of Bozeman, Montana. She won our #GallatinSampling Instagram contest for best collection photo and will be receiving a Peak Design Messenger Bag to take with her on her next adventure.
I began volunteering with Adventure Scientists in the fall of 2015 on the Gallatin Microplastic Initiative, the first study of its kind. At the headwaters of the Missouri River, the Gallatin Valley provides a superb opportunity to observe the effects of urbanization on a pristine watershed. Teams of two sample four times a year along a section of the Gallatin River or one of its many tributaries. A force of over 60 volunteers make it possible to collect 70 samples during a ten day period.
The Initiative also deepened my connection with the community. The Gallatin Microplastic Initiative unites fly fishers, kayakers, hikers, skiers, and runners under a common mission. We are multi-generational, dedicated athletes and casual day trippers, students by profession and students at heart. The Initiative facilitates a cross pollination of interests, knowledge, and experience.
Collecting samples while adventuring is grounding. It offers a sense of purpose to a wildly self-indulgent outdoor culture. As an undergraduate in the Environmental Sciences, the project provides further meaning for me by putting what I learn in class into context.
Lastly, Adventure Scientists knows the way to a college student’s heart. They throw down on local and healthy food, good beer, and cool shwag. Their events are always organized, compassionate, and respectful of the valuable time volunteers give them. Thank you Adventure Scientists!
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