Over Already?

Phew!  This is the first time that I have sat down at my computer for any substantial amount of time all week!  As I begin my final week here as a Sea Grant Scholar at the EPA Newport, OR, Research and Development Branch, I find it hard to believe that these are my final days of my internship.  Early last week was spent wrapping up with field work, lab processing, and data entry.  I was planning on spending the rest of the week prepping for my presentation on at the Final Symposium on Thursday, but was caught off guard when I was thrown into more field work for the week.  So last week was more of the same – making artificial sea water, filling bladders, taking nutrients, deploying chambers, gathering chambers, taking nutrient samples again, measuring volumes, etc. etc.  I did though, demand some time to work on my presentation.  Thursday morning rolled around, so I waiting anxiously for the start of my symposium all the while making adding the final touches to my Power Point.  At lunch time, my mentor, Ted, and I headed to the Hatfield Marine Science Center for lunch before the presentations began.  It was enjoyable to see everyone again, since I haven’t seen some of the other scholars since June when we first met. 

I felt that the presentations went great!  Everyone worked on a vastly different type of project that all pertain to and are important to the marine science field, especially in the northwest.  I found giving my presentation to be a bit complicated.  The details of my project are so in depth that I still have a hard time wrapping my head around them myself, never mind trying to explain them to an audience, many of which do not have a scientific background.  I could have spent my whole 15 minutes explaining how the experiment was run, never mind trying to tell a story with results and a conclusion.  I got some great feedback though and after talking with my mentor, I had a few moments to change a couple of things before my second presentation with the EPA the next day.  I felt that it went much better.  I think that the only way that I would be satisfied with giving a presentation on this project is if I had an hour to do so! 

Adding the final touches to one of our deployments. Here I am taping a nalgene bottle to the side of one of the chambers that will fill with water as the tide comes in. We will use this water to take a nutrient sample of the high tide water to compare to our artificial sea water.

At the beginning of this week, we immersed ourselves into another experiment.  This experiment involved a total of 32 chambers in 3 days.  That’s 32 bladders of water plus one more for the control!  My feet hurt from standing all day, but I’m glad that I was able to venture out in the field for part of it.  These past few days have been beautiful on the coast!  We have been running into another issue with this project – I know, surprise, surprise.  The day after we ordered 12 new bladders, they started tearing around the nozzle!  We’ve had four tear already!  This is problematic because we are already pressed for time, so taking the time to refill another bladder puts pressure on us to get everything deployed before the tide comes in.  I’m afraid that one of them will break after it’s been out in the field and our artificial sea water will be contaminated! 

Anyway, field work will be over tonight – this is my last day in the field!  The next two days will be spent completing lab processing and data entry.  I’ll have to take time to write my final paper so that it gets in on time on Friday.  I’ll probably post some if not all of my reflection paper to this blog so you all can read about my final thoughts of this internship.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! 

As always, my weekends are filled with fun Oregon adventures.  Check out what I’ve been up to here: sarasoregonadventure.blogspot.com

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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: sarasoregonadventure.blogspot.com and saraduncan.blogspot.com.

1 thought on “Over Already?

  1. Field work never ends, does it? Congrats on finishing your project and please keep in touch!

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