This week consisted of a lot of microscopy to calculate the abundance of Pseudo-Nitzschia in my water samples from last week. Luckily, they were initially preserved by Lugol’s solution so that there are no changes in the time that it takes me to get to them. I’m realizing how time intensive certain aspects of projects can be compared to others. I get worried that I am not going to be able to achieve everything I want to, but as of now I am just doing all that I can and acknowledging that 9 weeks is not much time in the research world.
Another fun event outside the lab was taking a visit with Tiffany and Natalie to Bandon for farmer’s market goodies that I am a sucker(fish) for. Awesome finds included unique dark chocolate corn puffs that were delicious and fruit, which is a must buy for me whenever farmer’s markets are involved. The biggest highlight of Bandon was surprisingly not the fruit, but the “Art to Save the Sea” exhibit that we came across. It’s an art exhibit that displays amazing pieces of art that are made completely of pollution collected off of the Oregon coast. It really opens your eyes to how big of an issue pollution is on the ocean. I am hopeful that movements like this make people more conscious of their decisions.
I also got a chance to write a proposal and present my work during seminar with my fellow REUs. This experience really got me thinking about the content of my project and I was able to make further improvements to my methods. Despite how nervous I get during public speaking, I found myself extremely happy with my presentation. I find the more experience I get with presenting scientific work to make it enjoyable, the more I want to continue to do so. Although I did have a favorable bias for an audience because everyone enjoys learning about marine life just as much as I do, I am looking forward to pursuing work where I can reach broader audiences. I want to get them excited about the ocean that is so embedded in our daily lives even if many might not realize it.
My name is Nancy Torres and I am from Carson, a city located in southern California. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. My ultimate career goal is to find a way to combine my passion for learning about the marine realm with my desire to help spread environmental awareness and inspire action.