Painting with all the Colors of the…Algae?
Week 2 is a wrap! Here’s a recap of everything I did this week:
Species of the Week:
Also commonly known as Pacific blood star. Found in the intertidal at Cape Arago, OR.
I started thinking about how I would set up my project. I went out to look for supplies as well (much harder than expected) and ended up falling a bit short so I ordered online so that should get here soon! After our lab meeting last week I realized there were a lot of factors I did not consider and needed to troubleshoot for, so that’s the goal for the week.
Today was a slow day. The lab went out tide pooling in the morning and I found a ton of isopods and a fossilized sand dollar! There’s not much you can do when you have most everything planned but just no supplies! I decided to read some more of the literature to more firmly grasp the ‘so what?’ of my project and very generally planned a timeline.
The REUs had a session with one of the mentors discussing ethics in research. It was a very eye-opening discussion. While science is very objective, some of the scenarios we discussed had mixed opinions in the group of whether it was ethical or not, some that we couldn’t come to a strong conclusion on. We also got to do short 5 minute presentations to each other today, which at first made me nervous but really, we do this all the time. It was great to hear everyone’s projects and it felt good to present my own work I’ve been doing relatively concisely, which is definitely a confidence boost.
Well, things started to pick up from the beginning of the week. A lot. My list has reached two post-it notes long (I repeat, two). I am trying to test everything out before I start the experiment so that everything can run as smoothly as possible, but boy there are a lot of aspects to consider. Had to order some more supplies that will hopefully get here Saturday, so unfortunately I’ll have to move my start date further than I would like. Which means I may have to kick off an experiment I wanted to run to further answer my question. Planning is hard.
My Friday to-do list has become too long for me to possibly finish it all today, but we will try! A grad student is defending her thesis today, and I’ve never seen a defense so I plan on seeing that. Hopefully I will get my hands on some of the supplies I’ve been waiting on and can begin building the set-up! I have a couple meetings in the afternoon to prepare for, some more troubleshooting. Hopefully by this time next week everything will be up and running! So close!
First attempt at measuring my isopods! That little guy is the biggest isopod I have, with the smallest being less than a third of the size of this big one.
My painted jars! I’m simulating the color of brown and green algae by spray painting the outside of some plastic food containers. Two down, 78 to go!
That’s the recap! This weekend the REUs are headed on the boat for a dredging trip, so on that note I will be back in a week!
Welcome! I grew up in Livermore, California and I’m about to enter my fourth and final year at University of California, Davis as an Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity major. As far as science goes my interest are in marine ecology and studying how the organisms that reside in the ocean interact with each other and their environment. I keep this as broad as possible because I am still exploring what is out there in terms of research and what I’m interested in. I heard about REUs in general from a fellow marine biologist back in Davis, so I decided to consider them for this summer. I applied to a ton of places and kept my fingers crossed I could get into one, and I did! Being able to conduct my own research was a highlight of REUs that sparked my interest and I’m very excited to be able to participate and be around like-minded individuals for 9 weeks.