The Pacific / by An

This is going to be the first post in a series of photos that covers the COASST intern field trip I took two weeks ago. COASST is a citizen science project that began at UW 15 years ago, designed to monitor seabird numbers that washed up on the shore of Washington state. Eventually the project expanded to what it is now, consisting of more than 1,000 volunteers up and down the West coast from Alaska all the way down to California. Usually the interns are in the office managing data that gets sent in from our volunteers, so a trip to the ocean was a nice change of pace. Pretty much just a good excuse to spend the weekend beaching and camping. 

 photo DSC_0418_zps295d0f8d.jpg
The Pacific Ocean underneath a perfect Washington summer day. I love this place. 
 photo DSC_0416_zps33050cf5.jpg
 photo DSC_0415_zps6736f275.jpg
 photo DSC_0441_zps1a4139fa.jpg
Sandy beaches really do exist..
 photo DSC_0443_zpsc3af953e.jpg
 photo DSC_0444_zpse5740805.jpg
Kelp! I need somebody. Kelp! Not just anybody. Keeelp!
 photo DSC_0421_zps56e782a9.jpg
 photo DSC_0458_zps3727a94b.jpg
This isn't so bad, I guess.
 photo DSC_0456_zps7203ff11.jpg
We scour up and down the beach for dead birds to measure and identify. Over 15 years of data later, you begin to get an idea of what is "normal" for a region so if something big and scary like climate change comes along, you can get a better sense of how much an effect it is having on our coastlines. 
 photo DSC_0475_zps37af84e2.jpg

There will be actual dead birds in the next installment. Get excited.