What I learned with Cochiti Pueblo-River Source internship by Tamarah Padilla-Mtz

McCune Internship

The first week of the internship I had learned a lot. I learned about what types of invertebrates should be in the Rio Grande to determined if the water is good or not. In Santa Ana Pueblo, We found that there were damselflies, dragonflies, mayflies, caddis flies, larvae and more. There are three different types of caddis flies. I learned that they make their own with tiny branches and other natural objects they find. I also learned how to do the water quality, which in this you take the temperature, pH, Total Dissolved solids (TDS),  and to see if there is any copper or anything in the water. To get a project complete you have to go through a lot of obstacles and it doesn’t happen overnight. I am saying this because we had been given a manage plan to complete after we are done with our internship.Also we had went on a walk on the Santa Fe River located by Frenchy’s Park  and had  been shown what had been done there. That “tour” was given to show us an example of the management plan that we were given. This showed us different techniques that were used to help restore that area such as planting willows and cottonwood.  I also learned how to properly clean a water meter and make sure its readying right and that is by using a packet of 7 pH and 10 pH. I used the colorimeter and dissolved oxygen kit, but truthfully I am not good with these two. I am good with the using the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)  meter and pH meter. Tamarah doing GPS mapping on lower Santa Fe River

Going into the second week of the internship, I learned about erosion control methods and the requirements for a project having to with a new bridge on the reservation. I learned that if you’re going to be doing something such as building a bridge you have to restore that area such as putting hydro mulch down. In this case, that’s exactly was done. Hydro mulch consist of fertilizer, chosen type of seeding and mulch. Straw wattles were also put in to help with erosion control. Straw wattle keeps erosion from going into the arroyo, then eventually goes into the river, which will be categorized as polluting the water. So with that I researched grade control structures that could possibly be put in the Peralta Canyon, Cochiti Pueblo Does have some land in there. There are different types of grade control structures such as riffles, cross-veins, W-weirs, and J-Hook Vanes. There are many benefits to these structures, they stabilize the banks and bed of  the channel by reducing stream slope and flow velocity. These structures also enhance environmental quality and reduces pollution hazards.

The next couple of weeks i learned tremendously a lot. I learned what different plants were invasive and what plants were not. So i got i better understanding of that. At first i didn’t know how Russian olives looked. But now driving/ walking by a place where there’s a combination of these i’m like, there a Russian olive, a cottonwood tree, etc. I also got a chance to learn a little about what my pueblo is going through in Santa Clara. Some of their forestry employees showered us some areas in the canyon and they talked to us about the projects they had going on and what is interfering with them getting some of the projects done/started. Something new i did was pole plant. I planted fruit trees but that is completely different from pole planting. While I did this I learned that taking off all the leaves and green branches will give the tree a better chance of surviving. If they were to be left on there those leaves would soak up all the water and it will become dry.


To end this off, I had a lot of fun during the internship and learned a whole lot. This internship can benefit me in my future careers. It really opened me up, by that meaning I was shy and scared to talk to people I didn’t know, but now that’s not really a problem with me. I would recommend this to my peers and other people. Best summer ever!



Tamarah Padilla-Martinez





Group Picture!