Getting Back into the Swing of Things

On Wednesday last week, I came to work after four days off for the long holiday weekend.  It felt great to relax for a bit, but since everyone came back on Tuesday and were already in the swing of things, there was no time for me to

Our first bladder test - as you can tell, the bladder is flimsy in the container which makes it difficult for the water for flow in and out.

take it slow.  The day before Jody went out to test the bladders again to see if he could come up with a way that worked.  He decided to pin each bladder down under a piece of mesh.  This eliminated the bulky storage container that wanted to float away with the tide.  So my job on Wednesday was to go out into the field to collect the bladders from the test to make sure that everything ran smoothly.  When we got back to the lab we

Our next test - the bladders are much more stable when pinned down with mesh fabric.

checked the bladders to make sure that there wasn’t a leak and we analyzed our pressure data to confirm that the artificial sea water went into and out of the chambers as it should.  After evaluating our data we discovered that we were successful and that this was the method that we would be using for our main experiment.  It was great knowing that we would be able to move forward with our project on time.

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, there are so many aspects of this project that must come together perfectly.  Just as with the problems with the bladders curve balls are a many and we discovered last week that we may not be receiving our additional bladders in time to run the experiment.  Thankfully they arrived today just in time.  The rest of the short week was spent preparing for the experiment for this week.  We made new nutrient solutions for our artificial sea water, we continued working out logistics and checking to make sure we had all of our supplies, and we trained our new summer help, Stephanie, to help us with our hectic schedule over the next few weeks.

Today is the commencement of twelve grueling days of field work/ prep work/ data collection.  There will be no weekend for me – when the tides are good we go out, weekend or not!  On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I will be working with Stephanie to make artificial sea water, fill bladders, and collect supplies.  I will also be going out with Jody and Caitlin to set up bases for our experiment and make sure that all of the lab equipment is working for when we get back.  Then on Wednesday and Thursday the real work begins when we will be running the experiment that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks.  Friday will be filled with running samples and preparing for the next experiment which will take place on Saturday and Sunday.  There will be even more intense field work the next week including several nights of nighttime sampling.  I will keep you updated as to what I am doing as much as possible, but I know that I have many 10-12+ hour work days ahead of me. Eek!  But I have to say, I am loving every minute of it.  The days go by fast because I am always on the go. I am still absorbing as much new information as I can and I can definitely say that I love being out in the field.  I will let you know if that changes after these next two weeks, but I sure hope not!

Check out my personal blog to see how I spent my holiday weekend: Sara Duncan

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About Sara Duncan

Aloha everyone! My name is Sara Duncan and I am super excited to be spending this summer in Newport, Oregon with the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program. I grew up in central Massachusetts and am currently a senior at Hawaii Pacific University studying Environmental Science. I love being outdoors doing fieldwork. In Hawaii, my main project is to collect preliminary data on an ancient Hawaiian fish pond that is scheduled to be restored in the near future. I love being out there right next to the ocean especially because it’s so warm year round. Luckily, I was able to land this awesome internship with the Oregon Sea Grant for the summer and I am now in Newport working on a project for the EPA studying the nutrient removal of the wetlands in the Yaquina Estuary. I’ll have to admit though, that I am a bit cold here – average temp in the summer is less than 65°F! Stay tuned to learn more about my experiences! Also, check out my personal blogs: and

3 thoughts on “Getting Back into the Swing of Things

  1. It’s pretty amazing how much you’ve learned in the past month, to the point that you’re even training other people. And not one mention of being cold – either you’re too busy to feel it or you’ve finally assembled a complete coastal Oregon wardrobe. Best of luck in the field – we’ll miss you at the midsummer get together!

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