Counting, counting, counting.


Viral concentrates serve the purpose of creating a fingerprint of the community structure, but raw counts serve a simpler, yet incredibly significant purpose. By counting the microbes, I am able to begin to understand the most general of changes within the Grim Dell.  Enumeration of microbes was done for every field sample collected this summer.

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Final Diamondback Terrapin Blog

After eight weeks of lab and field work my summer research has come to an end.  While it’s nice to be back home where I can relax and sleep in, I really miss the terrapins!

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Lessons Learned, and The Next Step

Things have been a little slow recently as far as research goes. Already I’ve realized I have learned some valuable lessons from this process that I wouldn’t have learned so quickly otherwise. One lesson is that many professors do not respond to emails during the summer. This is probably something I should have assumed and something very basic that I failed to consider prior to the research. It is unfortunate because going into this I had thought certain professors would be available to me as resources, but this is not the case. Also, I’ve realized how fragmented city governments can be, with employees having their focus on very specific topics rather than broader ones. This makes it difficult when trying to get evaluations from them. Their focus is so small that they have no real view point on how broader issues can be improved (in my case, how to reduce the number of people in need of public housing in the Williamsburg area).  Perhaps most importantly, I have learned things never go as you planned.  Rather than doing initial research and then communicating with government officials, my research has been ongoing. As I meet new people I am asking myself new questions, for example, “What contractors were involved in constructing the low income housing sites and what was their motive in doing so?”

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