Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Surface Water in Cambodia

We don't just look underground in Cambodia, but also think about things at the surface...especially ponds, rivers, wetlands, and irrigated fields.

Some of these are quite exciting.

If you look carefully in the photo above, you can find the cord to a multiprobe we have in this pagoda pond.

Water was high everywhere this time around, in fields, ponds, and wetlands.

The water is good for the rice fields...

...but high water in some agricultural and wooded areas led to eutrophication.

Thanks to Neil for some of these pictures from our trip!

More Sediments...

Here's another small sampling of sediment images from our recent Cambodia trip.  There is tremendous variation throughout the subsurface!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We're Still Alive

Sorry for the lack of posting, but Matt went to Vietnam on Sunday which leaves only me to blog and sample. I hope you can all understand. Speaking of Sunday, Neil and I were given the day off to sightsee in Phnom Penh where we were able to see the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Going into it, I honestly didn't know that much about the genocide that went on in Cambodia in the late 1970s. It's really sad to think how things like this can happen not long ago (and even sadder that it goes on today in other countries).

The stupa (memorial) for those killed from the Khmer Rouge.

If you look closely inside, you can see the skulls of thousands of victims.

After that, we went to a restaurant called the FCC (Foreign Correspondence Club) which was on the waterfront with a great ambiance. Matt and I ordered a veggie panini which was delicious while Neil had Lok Lak (Becca had a veggie curry, but had already started eating).

After lunch, Matt and Becca were off to the airport to fly to Vietnam while Neil and I went to the Royal Palace.

The monks are dressed in the bright orange.

Well, that's all I have for tonight, folks. I'll leave you with a picture of me with a snail.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Research Team in Cambodia

On this trip we're working with Becca Neumann's group from the University of Washington and Resource Development International, an NGO in Cambodia.  Matt and Becca started collaborating in Bangladesh 5 years ago, and now have projects together studying well water quality and arsenic in rice fields.  Matt has worked with RDI since 2003 - if there's any group that deserves support, here it is.  Here with Audrey and Matt are Becca, Sokha and Neil.

Today we spent time on the Mekong River...

...which Dina enjoys.

The Mekong River level is still quite high.

Lysimeter installation in a rice field for water quality monitoring.


And Audrey made a new friend while well drilling.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Blur Between Fun and Work in Cambodia

And we're off!  We tried to pack light but somehow still ended up with boxes up to our heads.

After arriving to Cambodia late at night following 30 hours of travel, the cafe dukdagohdagah (iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk) is a jetlag tonic.

And a little mi mama (ramen soup) to get things going.

We've been getting a whole bunch of wells installed at different depths to examine groundwater chemistry and flow.  In the area we're working, well water is arsenic free, so the wells can be used as a drinking water source.

The end product, just about finished.

During well drilling we take time to examine and collect sediments.  There's great variation in sediment type with location and depth.

Next to one of our drill sites, you can see the remnants of the floods that have devastated Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  Waters are now receding, but there is still a long way to go.

While looking for a monitoring site along the Mekong River, we stumbled across a temple.

Audrey has become enamored by all the cows in the countryside (and along all the roads).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cambodia Here We Come

All lab equipment is packed and ready to go (hopefully!) which only leaves our personal items. Matt tends to wait to the last minute while I (Audrey) tend to start too early. We have a lot of flights scheduled for tomorrow, so wish us luck.