Monday, May 28, 2018

Week 8: Community Ecology Papers and Presentations

Monday: Kicking off another week with Bruce, but this week we get to sleep in past 5 am. We started off with a lecture on variations in marine communities in the morning. Then in the afternoon we wrapped up our predator feeding rates experiment. Unfortunately a couple of our Pisaster ochraceus started showing signs of wasting. So they were isolated until all the Pisaster could be replaced in the field. After that we broke into teams and started working on our presentations.

That evening we had our last guest lecture by Alissa Rickborn and got to learn about her work with sponges. After her presentation we got to see her lab setup. It was really cool to see everything from how they adjust pH to how her sponges are going to be held.

Tuesday: Busy day, from early in the morning until late at night everyone was working to try and process their data and create the slideshow that they would present on Wednesday. Our poor TA Barbara spent all day helping everyone with their data processing, but by the end of the day most everyone had it all sorted out. So after she went home after her very long day everyone else pressed on, getting everything prepared for the next day.

Wednesday: Presentation Day! Early in the morning you could find pretty much everyone back at the library, putting the final polish onto their slideshows and practicing for their speech later. After a quick lunch it was time for presentations. Everyone is now more comfortable giving presentations after all the practice we've had this semester. It was really neat to see how the various projects and experiments over the last week had gone. It was also crazy to learn that at one of the sites there were over 5,000 Nucella ostrina that were sampled for the Small Predator Abundance and Size surveys.

After presentations we had our last review session of the semester with Bruce. After which it was cram time for our last exam and preparing the written reports that were due the next evening.

Thursday: While some of the class was finished with their papers early and prepared for the exam, some of us woke up and got right back to typing. Ready or not though, it was exam time. As we all sat down for our exam you could once again almost feel the stress in the air, but once the exams were passed out you could feel everyone relax. We had this. After wrapping up our exams and getting our papers submitted it was once again time to get back to writing. But this time it was for our own projects. We got to write our project proposals for the projects that we are going to be working on for the next two weeks.

Friday: Project kick off day!!!!! With the return of Sally, Sarah, Su, and Rebecca along with Barbara who never left, it was time to kick of projects! After giving a run down of what was and wasn't allowed, and making sure that we would treat our animals as humanely as possible, we broke up and switched to small group interviews. Our teachers met with each project group to discuss what they would be working on for the next two weeks, along with offering advice on what they could do to improve their projects.

And that ended our crazy week, but tune in the next couple of weeks to hear more about our projects!!!

Not a lot of photos this week so have a Tardigrade!

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