If you’ve seen the original Willy Wonka, then you might remember this scene: Mike Teavee breaks apart into a million pieces, travels through the air, and reappears across the room put back together– just way smaller, but clear!
I feel like that’s what’s been happening to me these last few weeks. Things have been floating above my head in a million pieces, BUT they are starting to finally fall into place. My research story is beginning to come in clear.
As I was in my lab this morning, I was jotting down my thoughts on my phone as I realized this is how I’ll be framing my research story to accompany my poster presentation. Thank goodness for the notes app on my phone.
Back in my office, as I was researching the proper name for the machine used to measure isotopes, I found this video which is an introduction to the company and their goals. I post the link to the video because I thought it was so cool that the questions the narrator asks at the end are the points I made in my notes!
Click the pic below to watch the short video:
We are only halfway through week three and it’s already been a busy one! Diversity training Monday, a geology undergrad luncheon on Tuesday (we researched different types of fellowships to apply for- I already found something I want to apply for next summer: https://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/#/about/who_may_apply), and the first part of the Round Robin lab tours this morning. After my colleagues left the Torres lab I’m working in, I stayed behind with Dr. Torres and the lab assistant, Solana. Dr. Torres explained more to me about how we are testing the water samples from the bayous. After working with Solana to prepare samples to be tested for the different elements of nitrates, phosphates, and so on, we both got a lesson on using the Piccaro spectrometer for the first time. This machine tests for isotopes. By determining the water’s isotopic signature, we determine where the water actually came from. We would have started using the ICP Mass Spectrometer to test for ions, but we didn’t have any argon gas. That comes tomorrow.
The spectrometer that measures isotopes:
The machine that is measuring nitrates, phosphates, chloride, etc.
The ICP that measures the ions (that we didn’t use yet because we need more argon).
The group that round robined into my lab today: