In just a week, I'll be headed up to Minneapolis to collect my kayak and a few more provisions, and then I'll be starting this journey! Ever since I dropped my cats off at their summer camp location, things have felt like they're moving at a very fast clip. Last minute dehydrating, last minute packing, and I'm still making last minute calls and connections. I'm SO excited, and I am utterly grateful and humbled by the 58 people so far who have donated to my Kickstarter campaign--we are 70% of the way to my goal! The kickstarter is up until next Friday, June 19th at 11:59pm. THANK YOU so much, to all of you who have helped spread the word of this project and donated. I have one more week to go, and collecting that last 30% is going to be nerve-wracking, so please help me get to my goal SOONER than LATER (please!). If I go over my goal, I will be able to potentially afford a sonde (a probe that measures water quality), which would really improve the ease and stability of my water quality measurements. At this point, I have spoken with John Sullivan, a water quality biologist who used to work for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He paddled the Mississippi a few years ago, measuring water quality along the way. He has shared his data and methodology with me, and I'll be repeating it to the best of my abilities. He was able to borrow a sonde from the Wisconsin DNR a few years ago, but does not have access to them any more, as he has retired. I am doing my best to borrow a sonde, but in the event that I am not able to borrow one, I would only be able to afford one if I am funded $1200-1500 above my stated fundraising goal. Failing that, I'll be collecting water samples the old fashioned way, measuring the samples ashore later in the day; a methodology that is much more time-intensive. So, fingers crossed that I make my goal ASAP, and that I am able to either borrow a sonde, or that my fundraising goes exceedingly well. Help me out, my dear readers!
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Alyssum Pohl is paddling the Mississippi River and documenting water quality and plastic waste along the way.