Friday, July 22, 2011


Today we went to the Lake Fork Valley Land & Water Workshop at the Mary Stigall Theater.

Kevin Alexander gave a presentation about using macroinvertebrates as bio-indicators for water quality. He counts the number of species of ‘critters’ in the water at various points, and this data is used to determine how polluted the water is. On Henson Creek, near the Ute Ule mine site, apparently the water isn’t too bad, though Henson Creek as a whole, accounts for 65% of instances of exceeding pollutant standards in the Lake Fork watershed. Most of the pollutants consist of various metals.

Tailings Pile at the Ute Ule

Part of the bio-indicator measurement process involves taking “beautiful complex data, and turn[ing] it into one number”.  I wondered what beauty was lost in that process, and it struck me that this seems to be the opposite of entropy. Entropy has been under discussion in the Hardrock Revision team. One of the ideas involved in the concept of entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems ( This topic seems particularly pertinent given the group meeting this morning regarding the processes involved in this project, and the resultant 'ridiculous ideas' board.

Hardrock Revision Team Meeting

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