Getting to Metro Manila and Meeting CheckMySchool (Week 1)

Thursday, 5/23/2019

Getting to QC:

Check-in luggage packed. Travel snacks in the carry-on. A box of Cheez-It’s, four protein bars, and three pills of motion sickness medicine (just in case) and I’m ready for my 30+ hours of travel to get me from Chesapeake, VA, to Quezon City, Metro Manila, PH. This is my first time flying and living abroad alone.

[Read more…]

Week 4

One of Mongolia’s main sports is basketball. For nine days straight, Ulaanbaatar hosted different FIBA international 3v3 basketball tournaments right in front of the parliament building. I imagined how crowded it would be if the same thing happened in DC. Tickets were dirt cheap and there was plenty of room in the bleachers so I spent an entire afternoon watching about a dozen games.

[Read more…]

Summary for the first 2 weeks of research experience

Welcome to the research! In this first 2 weeks, I mainly focused on investigating the AMS data set we collected during the last semester. The ambient aerosol samples examined were collected in Toronto and Lethbridge, Canada (named CADO and CALE, with a total of 51 sample sets), and were run in the AMS of NASA. As a preliminary data processing step, I paid more attention on qualitative information: 1) the amount of organic matter in each sample run, 2) the organic composition of the collected aerosol sample, 3) the degree of oxidation of organics in each sample.

[Read more…]

Week 2

This week I worked on determining the degree of resistance that each strain of V. fischeri had to ethanol. Since my experiments last week hadn’t worked out, I began the week by remaking a lot of the media and tubes, and re-streaking out each of the samples of V. fischeri strains that needed to be tested in the 4.0-4.9% range. Since the readings take a long time to prepare (the whole procedure is a 4 day process and it’s generally very difficult to do more than 5 different percentage points at a time), I was only able to test 2 strains: ETOO-7-1 and ETOO-3-20. Each of these strains were tested first at 4.0%-4.4%, in increments of 0.1%, and at a later point at 4.5%-4.9%. While this time I was able to collect data on these strains, the data which I did collect seemed to be inconsistent with previous findings, since in both strains the bacteria tested at 4.5% ethanol had more growth than those tested at 4.4%, and while the growth did seem to decline within each set of data collection (with 4.0%-4.4% being one set and 4.5%-4.9% being the second set), when the two sets of data were put together for each strain, they did not follow a consistent negative trend of growth, as would be expected. The combination of these results suggests that there may have been some significant differences in something other than the ethanol concentration between these two trials. Another area of concern is that growth was observed throughout all percentage points of ethanol, which is inconsistent with previously collected data, which suggests that these strains should have exhibited no growth at some point between 4.0% and 4.9%. To attempt to troubleshoot these problems in future readings, I will be trying to take all readings (4.0%-4.9%) at one point in time. Additionally, I will be replicating the study with these strains to see whether the results are different if all readings are taken at the same time. I will also be communicating with my advisor to determine if there are any ways to improve the procedure/methodology, and whether he can provide more guidance on the project moving forward.

Assays & Visual Analysis

Last week, we continued behavioural assays, checking nest boxes, and implementing experimental noise treatments for Heather Kenny’s experiment.

[Read more…]