Sunday, June 30, 2013

Payton Hermanson - Week One

My name is Payton Hermanson, and this summer I am acting as an intern in the lab of Dr. Alan Shanks at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB). My home community college, from which I received my Associate in Arts and Sciences degree earlier this year, is Everett Community College in Washington state.  The interest which led me to apply for an internship through the COSEE PRIME program is the same as that which has brought me this far in my college career already: an acute interest in research and the biological sciences. This fall I will be attending Oregon State University (OSU), entering with credits equivalent to those of a junior, where I will be majoring in biology. My hope is to one day continue on to graduate school to study marine biology.

In Dr.Shanks' lab, myself and one other intern are working on two projects involving larval recruitment rates. What this means is that the lab is investigating the rate that the larvae of Balanus sp. (barnacles, the larval stage of which is called a cyprid) and Cancer magister (Dungeness crabs, more on their life cycle later) settle in an area. While the methods of the two projects are dissimilar, the intention of both is to determine whether larval recruitment follows a set pattern, such as that of the tidal cycle or larger atmospheric conditions.
Myself (on left) and Kaylynne (my fellow intern) emptying the light trap. Photo taken by
Sol Guerrero Ortiz.

This first week, we were trained to complete surveys on both the organisms in question, counting the number of cyprids to settle on three permanent grid plates installed on rocks at Bastendorff beach, near Charleston, and surveying the numbers of organisms caught within a device known as a light trap, located in the marina adjacent to OIMB. The light trap is composed of a large clear plastic jug with a light suspended within and funnel-shaped entrances, much like a crab pot. A cod end (a sea water filter with mesh small enough to retain zooplankton [animal plankton] within the sample) screws on to the base of the trap. Both devices are checked daily. Next post, I'll talk about the life cycle of the Dungeness crab and how samples from the light trap are quantified.

1 comment:

  1. If you get any good photographs of the organisms you get in the light trap let me know and we will post about your project on the OIMB Facebook page.