We had poster presentations and everyone did amazing. It was really fun to see all the REUs present their finished product and get to talk about some potential follow up projects that could be done. Hannah and I will both be going to the CERF conference in Alabama and presenting the work we did together. I already miss everyone from the CTEL lab and can’t wait till I get to come back and see everyone. We had a potluck at Maya’s house after the poster presentation. It was nice to have one last REU event where we all got to be together and just enjoy each other’s company and not have to worry about any work.
It was time to say goodbye to everyone and I wasn’t ready. We stayed up late talking and playing games trying to make the night last as long as possible. I can genuinely say I made some wonderful friends this summer and know I will see them again. We all slept in the hall way one last time, so that we could spend our last few hours together even if we were sleeping. It started with Meagan leaving at 6:30 and one by one the rooms cleared out and what had been my home for two months was just an empty hallway without all the beautiful people in it. I am truly thankful for my time at OIMB and know everyone is going on to do great things. I have made great connections and look forward to all the adventures that are to come. I’m sitting at home thinking back to when I thought I had all the time in the world at OIMB and now I wish I had just one more week with all my friends laying on the beach practicing scientific names.
This weekend we got to go to Aaron’s house for dinner on Saturday and Sunday we went to the beach. I fell in love with Aaron’s dog she is an Australian Shepperd and a big lover. It was nice to get to sit down with Aaron and his family and enjoy a meal together. When we went to the beach some people saw a grey whale while they were kayaking and snorkeling. It was nice to get one last beach day in before we leave. I wish I was going home for two weeks and then coming back to work with Aaron and Julie for the rest of the year. Next week we have our farewell potluck and leave on Saturday. It’s a bitter sweet moment, but we will have to make the most of our last week at OIMB. I have finished my poster and am really excited for when we get to start printing on Wednesday.
I finished collecting and analyzing my data from my experiment. To ensure even light distribution Hannah and I had to work in the enviormental room. It is very cold in there, but it was worth it to make sure my crabs weren’t drawn to one point of light. My hypothesis was right and the crabs had a preference for the control pH of 7.8 over the experimental pH of 7.4. I’m really excited to be done running trials, but I will miss working with everyone. Hannah and I start to take down everything we had set up for our experiments this week. It will be sad to see everything come down and know it’s really over. Hopefully we can squeeze in a few more adventures before we leave. I have three roles of film left that I need to use this week and I want to make sure I get at least one picture of everyone.
This week we got to go tide pooling with Svetlana and it was a super fun experience. We went to a spot the you can only get to on super low tides. A land bridge is exposed and you can cross to caves that are normally covered with water. Svetlana works with ribbon worms and taught everyone a lot about how they can look very similar, but still be different species based on their genes. Some seagulls were nesting on one of the islands and weren’t very happy that we were by their babies. I just didn’t want them to poop on me or attack me because I was walking by.
We gave outreach presentations at the CMLC on Saturday about the research we have been doing. I was a little nervous at first, but once we got going it was really fun to teach people about ocean acidification and how it will be affecting oceans. I had one person come up and he didn’t know about leaving a carbon footprint. It was so cool to be able to educate someone about some sustainable choices they could make to reduce their carbon output. I would love someday to get a job doing outreach and being involved with the community.
My project is coming along nicely and I will have my poster done by next week. I’m super excited to see how everything turns out and know if my hypothesis was correct. Hannah and I have come a long way from the first week when we just had learned to calibrate probes. I have grown so much as a person and want to get in to a lab back in Portland helping out with research. Julie is going to help me put together a CV and teach me how to reach out to people who I would want to work with. Its starting to set in how close we are to the end and I don’t think I’m ready to leave. I just want to stay with all the other REUs and do research with them forever. I guess for now I just will have to soak up the last two weeks I have with everyone.
This week we have been learning how to do water titrations with Julie and it has been so much fun. At first it seemed extremely intimidating, but once you get the hang of things it’s not that bad. We also had an R workshop with Ross and it was super beneficial especially with posters coming up. Things have really started to speed up and time is flying by now. My confidence in myself and my work has dramatically improved since I first arrived at OIMB. I have so many new skills and can’t wait to continue with school.
My family visited over this weekend and we stayed in the beach house right up the road from campus. The view was amazing to fall asleep and wake up to. I’m really sad they had to leave, but know the next three weeks will fly by in no time. My mom toured some of the labs on campus and thought everything we are doing is incredible and she can’t wait to see what I find out from my research. We also did some thrifting in town and found some really cool clothes.
We are almost ready to start our experiment, but some there is some upwelling on the coast here and it is causing the pH to drop all over campus. This makes it harder for us to control the pH in our tanks and puts a few roadblocks in our way. Hannah has been trying to fix the pH in our open tank room experimental set up while Erica and I run water titrations in the old lab. Everyone has been working really hard to get everything stable so we can get all the experiments rolling and start collecting data. If we get the pH fixed over the weekend there should be crabs in as soon as Monday. I will have updates next week and hopefully some crabs in our open tank room.
This week has been extra warm and sunny which I really needed. It’s a nice change from the fog filled mornings we have gotten in the past few weeks. Things are picking up and I feel like I get more and more done each day. The open tank room is almost fully set up and then we just have to get the water chemistry down. I feel like I have learned more by this point than I do in a school year. We have now passed the half way point and its bitter sweet. I don’t know how to feel about being closer to this experience coming to an end. For now, busy weeks will keep me distracted from thinking about the end of everything.
We have a busy weekend coming up with a full day Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we are going to the Newport aquarium and Sunday we are having a lake day with some of the University of Oregon students. I’m so excited to go to water we can actually swim in without having to wear a wet suit. I started to get a little homesick this week and think a weekend full of fun will help. Luckily my mom and grandmother will be here the following weekend and I will get all the family time I need. I wish they could bring my dog, but she doesn’t know how to behave so another month till I will get to see her.
All the REU’s are planning on going to the Virgin Islands for spring break. I think it’s the perfect place for an intern reunion. It also helps that Mathew lives there, so we would have our own personal tour guide. I wish we had a week in Charleston where we didn’t have anything to do, but hangout with each other. This summer has been full of laughter and I am truly thankful that I was chosen to part of the OIMB family. When I came in to this program I had no idea I would meet so many new friends that I hold so close to my heart.
This week Julie, Erica, Natalie, and I all started to set up the crab lab for Julie’s ocean acidification grant. I learned how to install ground wires to make sure the tanks aren’t generating an electrical current that could possibly hurt someone or the crabs. This was way out of my comfort zone, but was a great learning experience. I don’t think I have ever used half of the tools we used during this process. At first, I was really hesitant to work with power tools and now I feel like a pro. Going in to week five I feel like I’m running out of fears to conquer and it feels nice. Julie has helped me work through some of the things that I thought I would never be able to do.
There was a lot of errand running this week to get all the parts for our open tank lab. Erica is a scientist working in the Galloway lab and she is amazing. She took Hannah and I to a few places to eat in downtown Coos Bay. One was a Mediterranean restaurant and the other was a Thai restaurant. She also helped us learn how to shop for parts for our experiment and learn that everyday items can be used in science. Proposals were due this week and I was extremely nervous, but am so glad that I finished. I felt like everything went really well and can’t wait to put all my data together at the end and see my results.
My cousins are visiting this weekend and I’m super excited. I want to show them all the beautiful spots we have found. It will be nice to see people from home; I have been missing all my family lately. There is the Oregon Coast Music Festival this weekend and I think all the REUs want to go. It’s nice to finally have a free weekend with nothing to do except things we plan. It feels like we have been super busy for four weeks straight and I’m ready for a little break. Who knows maybe I’ll even sleep this weekend? Tune in next week to find out if I get the rest I desperately need.
This week some of the REUs went on a guided tour of the plants in the forest near sunset bay. We learned some of the common names for the native plants and which ones could be potentially edible. When the REUs were on this hike we ventured off from the group and found a rope that led down to a hidden beach. There were rocks blocking the larger waves from getting in, making it the perfect swimming spot. We plan on going back and having a fire there soon and maybe roast some marshmallows. We took some of the University of Oregon kids down to the spot and they couldn’t believe how cool it was. Some of them want us to go down and camp on the beach one night. On one of our beach days this week we decided to build our very own crab city, because they deserve a nice house for them and their megalopae. Unfortunately, the tide had taken our city out by the next morning.
Things are staring to move really fast we have proposals due by 9th and rough drafts were due by the 3rd. I’m really lucky to have a lot of amazing people in the Galloway lab who are willing to help me and edit my rough drafts. Hannah and I will start building our mixing tanks to simulate ocean acidification Monday. I should be running tests by Wednesday next week if the megalopae (Dungeness crab larvae) come in large enough numbers for me to begin preconditioning them to the acidic water. We have set up our containers to house our juvenile Dungeness crabs in the open tank room on campus. I’m so excited to start collecting data and putting it all together.
We got to be part of the OIMB 4th of July picnic and it was so fun and just an overall good time. Everyone played a big game of ultimate Frisbee on the beach. The food was amazing and the kitchen staff did a great job putting it all together. We had an egg toss contest, went on a small hike, and even went for a swim. It was the perfect day to be at the beach with the sun shining bright and smiles all around. I think everyone was tired Friday trying to get up in the morning. This will be one of my best 4th of Julys ever and I will never forget it.
This week the University of Oregon students moved in and things have gotten a lot busier on campus. All the interns had to present project ideas and I think things went really well. Everyone is working on really cool stuff. Hannah and I got to tag along with Renee and Sophia to help map Bird’s Beak in the Sough Slough. Birds beak is an endangered plant that Sophia and her mentor Alicia Helms have been mapping and studying. It seems like we have been here for months and known each other our whole lives. Everyday has been filled with adventures and laughter, it feels more like summer camp than work. Aaron ran a seminar on his Julie, and Ross’s trip to Antarctica and all the work they did there. The pictures and videos were so beautiful, one can only imagine what it looked like in person.
I have started to polish my project idea and now have a better understanding of some road bumps I might run into. I plan on building a flume which is a device with two different pH that don’t mix and would allow juvenile crabs to pass back and forth as they please. I want to see if they can sense the more acidic water and are willing to cross over in to it. One main issue I have been told is the crabs are drawn to light, but they can’t see red light. I want to set up a camera and run the experiment at night with red light to remove the light variable. I will leave the crabs overnight and see what pH they chose to remain in or if they can even tell. Our pH probes are calibrated and we should start setting up our experiments really soon.
At night the UO students and the interns go on adventures and stay up playing Mario kart. I’m learning so much and having fun all at the same time. A student named Lincoln showed us a cave that leads to a rope you can climb down to the beach. At first, I was skeptical but once everyone started going, I knew I couldn’t be the only one who didn’t go. It was worth the climb and we all sat and watched the sunset while talking. Watching the waves crashing on the rocks and the sky slowly get dimmer was a magical experience. I have started trying to go for a hike every morning. The trails around campus are perfect for any plant lover and will keep you looking for new plants to identify. Stay tuned for week three and all events to come.
I’m an environmental studies major from Portland, Oregon with a passion for restoration work and conservation work. I currently go to Portland community college, but will be transferring to Portland State University in two terms. In my free time I like to go on hikes with my dog and identify plant species. I have always loved animals and being outside, when I was little my favorite place was the aquarium. I hope to get a job with the city restoring wetlands that have been drained and filled. When I first started college, I was going to be a criminal justice major and go to law school for environmental law. I soon realized I wanted to be in the field doing the work and helping the environment first hand.
When I first got to OIMB I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. My mentors Julie and Aaron made me instantly feel at home and welcome. Aaron took us on a ride to show us some of the cool spots in Charleston and help us get familiar with everything. We will be working with juvenile Dungeness crabs and studying how ocean acidification effects their behavior. On the first day we got to see the juvenile crabs and learn about feeding tests being done on them. By day two my lab partner and I had our own megalopae (Dungeness crab larvae) and were brainstorming ideas. We wanted to see how adult Dungeness behaved in the wild, so we joined another lab studying invasive green crab who in the process catch a few Dungeness crab. It was fun hiking around the mud flats and handling the adult crabs in person even though I got stuck and fell.
All the mentors are so inspiring and make me feel like I could do anything. I’m so excited for all that is to come and all the knowledge I will gain. Who knows maybe I will come to complete my masters at OIMB. It is a truly special place and I feel honored to be part of such an amazing experience. I consider myself a city boy, but could see how someone would fall in love with this small costal town and all its beauty. After just one week I feel very connected with everyone and know this is going to be a summer of adventures.