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A Coastal Exploration begins…

May 12, 2014

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

9:27am, May 12: we’re underway. Two vans, eleven people, a dozen doughnuts, thirteen brownies, a container of strawberries, and a bottle of hot sauce. And some tents and stuff.

Shaw University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences have partnered to take a group of Shaw biology majors on a five day camping trip through Eastern North Carolina using funds from the National Science Foundation Targeted Infusion Grant #94F (Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Rental Dusenbury, CoPI Dr. Eric Butler). We will be journeying through three different ecosystems: bottomland forest and swamp along the Roanoke River floodplain, pocosins (coastal plain wetlands), and barrier islands.

During our trip we will be camping first on platforms in Upper Deadwater Creek (reached via the ominously-named Devil’s Gut) and then at Pettigrew State Park. Six of us have been camping before, four of us only once under the inspired and brilliant leadership of Dr. Butler (disclaimer: the inspiring and brilliant Dr. Butler is writing this post); the remaining five will be jumping into the deep end with this extended first-camping endeavor. We anticipate that this will be a growth experience. (“Always do what you are afraid to do.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson, a man not noted for his camping adventures.)

During the trip the students will be divided into three groups (bears, barred owls, and red wolves) each of which will have a specific task: writing this blog, preparing food, recording animal sightings, or monitoring the weather.

A small sampling of our goals for this trip:

  • Canoeing – Tamira
  • Seeing a bear – Michaela (widely seconded)
  • Seeing a red-tailed hawk – just accomplished
  • Having fun – Tamara (not to be confused with Tamira)

This last goal seems quite likely to happen!

river surrounded by trees

We will be paddling along Gardner Creek and Devil’s Gut today, in search of the Beaver Lodge camping platform at the beginning of Upper Deadwater Creek!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mickey Jo permalink
    May 12, 2014 12:40 pm

    Awesome! What a beautiful day to be on the river. May the owls be with you.

  2. Kevin Butler (probably related to Dr. Eric Butler) permalink
    May 12, 2014 5:44 pm

    That was inspiring and brilliant! Happy trails, happy learning, and everyone safe.

  3. May 17, 2014 6:06 am

    Wonderful to see you all immersed in the Great Outdoors! Savour every moment and thanks for sharing!

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