Thursday, January 19, 2017

Whelmed.

When I first got to WHOI, I had a hard time filling my day. I would get to 4 pm and run out of things to do. I spent a lot of time putting out feelers and trying to get projects started, but I was advised not to take on too much. I was told not to overwhelm myself.

It's been a few months now, and things have finally started to pick up. I'm not overwhelmed, though. I'm...whelmed. And I like it that way.

Regular readers of this blog should be familiar with my habit of keeping multiple projects going at once and rotating among them as needed. My proverbial plate (I prefer the term Endlessly Rotating Wheel of Chaos) is now finally full again.

Settlement plates, all built and attached to their PVC backing
First off, I finished building the settlement plates for my succession project. I took me way more time than I expected to drill all the holes, attach all the screws, and get everything in order, but I got it done! With my settlement plates finished, all I have to do now is wait until barnacles start settling in the spring. Got to be honest, I'm very excited to get this project started. My field sites are easily-accesible, so I can really sink my teeth into the experiment and examine ecological phenomena in detail. It should be a very good study.

This week, I also started getting prepared for another data analysis. An undergraduate research fellow in my advisor's lab collected good data last summer on larval behavior in different water chemistry conditions. Most of the data remain untouched, so I'll be working with the student to complete the analysis and interpret the results. I'm excited for the opportunity to mentor a student through the interpretation of data, and I expect I'll learn a lot from the analysis too - we'll be using a statistical program I'm not yet familiar with.

Friends, my plate is full, and so is my heart. There's a lot of great science happening around me - and that's the way I like it.

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