Friday, July 19, 2013

Katlyn: Week 4 - Helping with other projects

Ella and I (left) on the Elakha

Putting the equipment back in the water
This week Ella and I were able to get out of the office and help with other projects around Hatfield. One of the main projects that we were able to help out with and learn about was Francis Chan's physical oceanic factors data collection. We went out on the Elakha (an Oregon State research vessel) with Francis' crew and were able to help out with their data collection off the coast of Lincoln City. It was a one-day cruise and it was quite the experience for me because I had never been on the ocean before. It was exciting to be able out in the field and collect data with these scientists. It was also exciting to learn about what they were doing and how they do it. I learned that they collect the pH, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen of the water with equipment that is attached to what they call a mooring, which is an anchor attached to a buoy. They do these cruises in order to collect the data that the equipment has been gathering and to do maintenance on the equipment. Being able to help wash the equipment and put it back in the ocean was a lot of fun. This was also a great experience because everyone on the boat was very welcoming, helpful, and willing to teach me about their work. The fact that the sun came out for the second half of the cruise was also nice.

View from the observation deck on our way back to the dock

Ella, Natalie, and I (middle) in front of the
 mudflat with the slurp guns and shrimp
Another project that we were able to help with this week was Natalie Coleman's project. She is collecting mud shrimp in order to retrieve their gastric mill, which is a grinding apparatus near the stomach of the shrimp. After retrieving these gastric mills from the gut of the shrimp she will mount them on a microscope slide and look for growth rings in them so she can determine the age of the shrimp. Ella and I were able to help her with this project by going out onto the mudflats behinds Hatfield with slurp guns, which are suction tubes used to get shrimp out of their burrows. We then collected around 20 mud shrimp with these slurp guns, which was fun because we were able to be out in the mud and the sun. This was a week full of fun helping other people with their field work! I am so glad we were able to gain a broader range of skills by being a part of these different experiences!

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