This is it, the final official week. My poster was printed on Monday, so I was done making big edits to it. Turns out that one of my stats came out incorrectly, so we had to print, cut, and tape new information to my poster. Two of the three changes are virtually invisible; the third was crooked and obviously taped onto the poster. Besides my edits, my poster turned out very clean and informational.
I’m thinking about incorporating some field work and outside conditions to try and start to figure out the mechanisms by which these isopods change color. Unlike the other REUs, I can continue working in my mentor’s lab. We have just started the process of figuring out what my time here will look like. It currently looks like my schedule will be tidally oriented and sparse, due to the field work and the lack of an official position.
My time as an REU student has been incredible. I was able to meet so many fascinating people and make a bunch of new friends. Being at the OIMB has been fun, and I’m excited that my time here can be extended (thanks Julie and Aaron!). I’m glad that some of the connections I have made here have been fruitful, in forms of furniture, a roommate, and more.
I’m sad that I have to say good-bye to the interns but glad that I don’t have to say good-bye to everyone else.
I feel as if I have been glued to my laptop this week. I’m not sure how many hours I have stared at this screen for; between making my poster, making my figures, and writing this post, it has been many hours. On the bright side, I’m very proud of my poster. I have put in a lot of work, and I think it looks very professional. In a few days I get to present my poster.
At my poster’s judgement day, I received lots of suggestions—constructive and opinion-based. I learned that everyone has a very different idea of what is aesthetically pleasing, so that was the main topic of conversation. After the session, I made changes according to the group’s suggestions, then I showed it to my lab. They had very different opinions, so I changed it again to make the poster meet half-way. I am hoping that my final product is aesthetically pleasing and understandable to the people at the poster session.
On Wednesday, Erica left to go to Vancouver, Washington for a work-related gathering. This has left me in charge of the crabs again. She made a bunch of food for them before she left, so I didn’t have to worry about that. The water flow had changed dramatically one night, dropping so low that twenty-six crabs died in one bucket. I am not certain which bucket Erica was using for her experiments, but if she was using the bucket with all the deaths, we get to go collect more crabs next week.
On Saturday, Maya invited the REUs to her house to pick blackberries and make pie. It was enjoyable, and the pies were delicious. Maya lives out east, in the forest; the change of scenery was refreshing.
Next week we will present our posters and finish the program. These eight weeks have gone by very fast; it is crazy that this program is almost finished.
The end is near. This week has been extremely busy and, as a result, extremely stressful. I was finally able to collect all my data and analyze it, leaving me to create my poster. I have quite a bit of work left to do on that, and I am working on setting up my house. Though it is stressful, I am still having fun.
Reyn, Nicole, and I went out to the mudflats to look for isopods, amphipods, sea slugs, and sea slug eggs. I got stuck in the mud, but not enough to require assistance. We had to trudge through eelgrass to find our organisms; I quietly apologized to Korrina before we went out because her organism of study is eelgrass.
Aaron Galloway, the head of the lab I am working in, came back from Washington on Monday. It was pleasant to see him again. His office is not in his lab, so I have not seen too much of him since his return. I learned that he apparently cannot survive without his sunglasses, even on cloudy days.
Working a shift communicating my research to the public was interesting. My display included an array of live isopods and my y-maze, which I expected to be a hit. Sadly, many people were grossed out by or scared of my isopods. Majority of the people who wanted to hold the isopods were children; children did not stick around to hear about my research. Besides my dad, I explained my experiments to a whopping three people. On the bright side, having people avoid my station allowed me to see what everyone else had planned for the event.
On Friday, the REUs took a trip to Eugene. It was amusing that so many of the other interns were very impressed with the University of Oregon main campus; some people joked about transferring there. I have already seen the entire campus and its facilities, so I already knew how nice everything is. I enjoyed getting out of the lab and the fog for the day, even though that time would have been great for creating figures for my data.
Next week, our posters are going to be judged and primed for presentation, which might be terrifying.