Sea_Gil’s Blog Pt.2

Hi all! It’s Margaretmary again. During my second week working for the EPA, I had the chance to attend some meetings and that made me feel pretty professional, as I have never before had a job that required meetings. These meetings were very important because they were an opportunity for me to discuss which bivalve shell characteristics were the ones we should try to capture for the database in terms of ocean acidification.  But this meant I had to do my homework so to speak. I had to read over numerous scientific articles and large books in order to familiarize myself with bivalve shell terminology. Some words and phrases I had never even heard of before such as periostracum and complex crossed lamellar layer. Thanks to my reading I definitely feel more confident in my knowledge of shell structure. Aside from reading, I began filling out information in the data sheet that my mentors and I set up. I am doing this for each family of bivalve found in the Pacific Northwest and the information includes things like what type of calcium carbonate shell a family has.

One of the major challenges of this project is gathering all the information needed for the data sheet. As of right now I am mainly using two sources to get most of the data, but there are still many characteristics that are not mentioned in either one that are needed for the database. I will probably have to scour the internet and library for additional sources so that I can fill out as much of the data as possible.

Another challenge I encountered this past week was the epic saga of book scanning. One of my coworkers got a book from the library for me to use and when my mentor saw it he decided it would be helpful to have an electronic copy of it. The electronic copy would make things much easier on me because I can just search the document for keywords. Now I had never scanned a book before so I was taught how to by a person on the EPA staff. It seemed pretty easy and I was under the impression that I would scan the pages as jpegs and then be able to convert those images into a pdf file. I was very wrong and found this out a little late. After scanning about seventy pages I was told that I had to save the scans as pdfs and that I would have to go back and rescan all the pages I had already done. So finishing that scanning process will be one of the things I will be doing this week. I imagine I will also be filling out more of the data sheet as well.

But enough of that scanning debacle. I really enjoyed my weekend. My Sea Grant friends and I went to Drift Creek Falls on Saturday. After hiking for about a mile and a half, we crossed a (kind of scary) suspension bridge and climbed some rocks to get very close to a waterfall! This was the first waterfall I have ever seen and it was totally awesome. To finish out the weekend, my roommate and I went clamming (I purchased by clamming license, so I’m trying to get some good use out of it). We dug up around 10 clams in total and she suggested we try to make a chowder. I have to give mad props to Betty for her great Novice Clammer Louisiana Clam Chowder™. Yum yum!

Drift Creek Waterfall!

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2 thoughts on “Sea_Gil’s Blog Pt.2

  1. Knowing those bivalve anatomy terms (periostracum, anyone?) certainly places you among a very select group of individuals! So which characteristics are most important? You already mentioned the type of calcium carbonate and one, but are there others?

  2. Right now, I think the type of calcium carbonate a shell is made of is the most important. Other ones that might be important as well are larval shell composition and how much time larvae spend out in the water column.

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