Life in the lab

Things are set up pretty well for my research.   We’ve collected over 50 sand dollars and have successfully started spawning them.  We’ve pretty much worked out the preliminary details and gotten the kinks worked out of the experimental design.  Unfortunately, lately, right when I think I can start getting more data, something breaks.  For instance the water heaters stopped working, the stirring rack broke, the thermometers went missing, and the algae died all over the past weekend.   Every impediment has just been a minor one thankfully.  It usually complicates the data I collect that day, but nothing major has happened.

I really like being in the marine lab.   It’s a crazy environment  that always has something interesting going on like leaks to fix, animals to collect, or lobster to feed so you stay busy.  Everything is well set up so that research is efficient to conduct and you can do things at the pace you need to.  The schedule is pretty variable, some days I’ll be there for almost 12 hours and then others I’ll only have about 45 minutes of work. It all evens out though and when things are particularly time-consuming other people will generally help out.  There are many fun perks of the lab other than staying busy; we don’t really have to worry about closed toed shoes or watch out for chemicals; on nice days we can eat lunch out on the dock and watch the wildlife; and messes aren’t a big concern as everything is already covered in sediment and water is readily available when you  do need to clean things up.

Hopefully I’ll get some data soon and nothing too big will break but I’m sure there will be lots more problems ahead for me to deal with.  I’m excited for it all and expect to stay entertained and busy all summer.