Welcome to our week 6 posts! It has been yet another jam packed week. I have been bouncing around from lab to lab a little more than usual, to borrow tools, collect microscope photos and to work through histology.
This week I collected a bit more data. Both of my experiments change little by little as I come across small holes in my design. In my opinion, this is a part of experimental design and filling in the small holes is not only strengthening my understanding but also improving my project.
As I briefly mentioned last week, I am interested in the microscopic structure of the tissues within the cerata of Opalescent nudibranchs. Which is why I am doing histological analysis on the cerata. Each day this week I transferred the cerata through a series of solutions for a set amount of time (generally about a day). Yesterday I embedded each cerata in a wax mold, that I soon will slice into extremely small slices to mount on a slide.
While experimenting with the feeding of nudibranch agar pellets to juvenile crabs, I’ve noticed a trend in the consumption of the pellets. All of the 18 crabs start grabbing for the pellet as I place it in the water, and pick at it for a minute or so. Some of the crabs scarfed it down and others nibbled and then left it alone. In attempting to record the crabs desire to eat the pellets, I’ve found that measuring the amount they consume is quite difficult. I’ve starting weighing out each pellet before it’s been in water and after 5 minutes in the water. The absorption of water and the torn up pieces are two areas of my design that I am currently working on.
The Spontaneous adventures this week were some of my favorites! The Coquille River waterfall last Saturday was amazing. Swimming, climbing and falling asleep in the sunshine was a great way to end a lab filled week. Even the two hour drive to and from the trail was gorgeous. On Wednesday I joined my lab partner Elena C. for a nice drive north to do some algae density sampling.
This weekend 4 other REU’s and I drove up to Nike headquarters in Beaverton Oregon after spending the morning at the Marine Hatfield Science Center in Newport. We all ran the 5k and ended the night at a lovely brewery close by Beaverton. No one I’d rather be “stuck” in a car with for 8+ hours! Yet another incredible week with wonderful people.
Many people will say that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself into a community where that language is spoken. I’ve been at OIMB less than a week and already the amount of ideas, techniques, and information I’ve absorbed has exceeded my expectations, as though I am learning a new language to better grasp and comprehend science.