Sixth Week

Sixth Week

John fixed everything! The integration time was set to be too long on the spectrometer. We still have to scan all the feathers again, but anything is better than Excel at this point. Now, the data has 2 tiny peaks (as opposed to 8 before), and finding range was easy. I was also able to run a calculation in Excel that replaces the excluded data with a linear regression automatically. I corrected the data in less than 10 minutes.

We have also started running the actual experiment with the wren feathers (finally!). I have developed a system in which each sample set we run will be artificially similar in composition (i.e., in terms of sex and treatment proportions). The preliminary experiment was a success for the most part. We concluded that mincing the feathers wasn’t necessary.

This week I also learned how to use a direct mercury analyzer (DMA). The DMA was a nice break from the computer, but the DMA room has no windows. The DMA also takes a long time to run, so we try to process as many samples as possible, and it takes all day. We have only run samples from the preliminary experiment thus far.

I will be taking the next week off to travel to the beach with my family.