Well this week was a farewell to a very good friend (and new member to my ohana) I made here at Hatfield, Nikki. She had finished the program she was working on and is on her way heading back for Virginia. Her initiative was to track efficiency through lower trophic levels utilizing the storage capabilities of copepods (small crustacean group). She studied copepods and the phytoplankton they prey on to discern if there are specific species of phytoplankton they eat to create their energy stores. In the larger picture, her team sought to find which lipids play a more significant role in enhanced foraged fish survival and growth. It was a bittersweet week as we spent time together doing karaoke, eating out a bunch, singing in each others' apartments, and lots of recounting of memories created in such little time. It was a realization of how time seems so irrelevant in the bigger scheme.
But switching to more academic/work-based events, the Human Dimensions team came up with a method to input data with little error with the database we're using for data analysis. We devised a skip-fill rule and are playing with the numbers to accommodate the changes made. We are still messing with a range-rule tactic as well, but nothing to note, yet. Field-work has been going great as well! Now that I have been and will continue to data-collect alone, it definitely puts a skip in my step when I know that I am the only driver and motivator to do the work. It feels good to know that what I do is on my own accord, and that I will work with the data directly later when analyzing it. It was also my first time into the office's "cave" where Steve scores a lot of the video taken from ROV (remotely operated vehicle) missions etc. I learned the identification of a lot of sea invertebrates in my time there as well. Moreover, my next door neighbor, James, whom is taking classes here at the Science Center, was studying for his marine bio class and I spent time with him reviewing the distinguishing features of cetaceans (genus of whales) and pinnipeds (genus of seals, sea lions, and walruses). It is quite the rewarding experience being surrounded by people with various interests and backgrounds that it begins to rub off and you find yourself in the most unexpected predicaments to harness that knowledge and even spread it. That's one of the coolest experiences that I'd say I've come to realize with my time here. The stories people have to share and their knowledge - these are a few among many tangent-taken-topics in countless conversations I've had with my friends here; nitrogen fixation, hypoxia, ocean acidification, leidenfrost effect, bird-call identifying, cohesion-tension theory, and so much more.
I will continue to be all ears, eyes, and attention to the people and living bodies around me because you never really know how much you don't know until you know when you've learned.
|couple relaxing by the beach, very sweet peope!|
|photo op: mom pulling daughter on sled, and dog pulling child by leash|
|with that color contrast, a picture was no longer optional|
|my first-sighting of a "by-the-wind-sailor jellyfish"|