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Images: Of The River and Time

MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Britta Voss watches a water sample slowly pump through a cartridge that extracts dissolved organic matter. The sample is wrapped in a black plastic bag to protect it from light, which can degrade the chemicals she wants to measure. When working in the field, she and colleagues set up a small lab in the hotel room every night to process samples collected by day. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Filtering many liters of river water yields a thick cake of sediments that researchers will later analyze for their chemical composition. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Britta Voss (top) and fellow Joint Program student Katie Kirsch filter water samples in the improvised hotel room "lab." (Photo by Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

To collect a water sample from the main flow of the river channel, geochemist Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink extends a pole with an attached dipper into the river. The dipper is also attached to a length of tubing, which Voss and Peucker-Ehrenbrink use to pump large volumes of water back to shore. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Voss collects river bank sediment at the Chilcotin River in British Columbia, Canada. During low river flow, large areas of the banks are exposed, giving easy access to accumulated sediment from the river. (Photo by Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A snow-covered peak in the Canadian Rockies, near the Fraser River headwaters. Snow falling here may eventually melt and flow to the Fraser. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A bend in the Chilcotin River during the spring freshet, or meltwater surge, shows the stark contrasts in land cover at this time of year. While the rivers run high with muddy water, even dry regions pulse with life and fresh plant growth. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The icy waters of the Robson River appear milky thanks to very fine sediment (or "rock flour") generated by glaciers grinding against rocks. Small, energetic tributaries like the Robson drain the headwaters of the Fraser River. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Britta Voss prepares filtration equipment before sampling river water. (Photo by Daniel Voss)