Katharine Kolb: Activities Of A Geographer


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Hello I’m Kitty Kolb. I’m geographer for the U.S. Geological Survey North Carolina Water
Science Center. Welcome to Charlotte [gestures hand to sign]. [sits down at her desk]
A day in my life at the USGS can be pretty vary. I could start today by making a rainfall
countour map and then, next, I could be working on a Python script to calculate land use characteristics.
Then I might finish by making a map of groundwater wells in another part of the state as well. [Showing scientists working in a stream]
I really had a lot of fun last year as part of the hydrologic benchmark monitoring team
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We did things like scrub under rocks to collect
the algae out and collect aquatic insect larvae.  We counted all the different species of
fish we could find in the streams. And it really helped us better understand the habitat
of the park.  The most valuable part of my work here, at
the USGS, is that I get to help protect people’s lives and property. A big thrill for me was
making a map of the high water marks collected after the passage of Hurricane Irene in 2011.
This enabled us to see where the storm surge had been.  So, I get to try my hand in a lot of things. 
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