gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I thought we had lab meeting today but I misread the e-mail, it's on Monday. At least I'm here for Seminar. Which starts at 3:30pm. I suppose I could look for stuff in the library for my Methods project. Except I don't really feel like doing that. I came all set to have a lab meeting and now I'm all... NOT having a meeting. It's thrown off my whole schedule!

...I will probably just read things on the internet until Seminar.

Actually, I could realistically print out the reading for next week's Methods class and get started on that, that will be manageable. OK then.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
My friends invited me to eat flapjacks then see Harry Potter with them this morning and I was going to go but then yesterday I got an e-mail from one of the scientists I'm going to be working with on my thesis: he asked if I could come in today because he was going to process some samples using the same protocol that I'll need to use for my samples. So I went to the lab.

It was cool! At the end, I got to look at the slides we'd made under the epifluorescent microscope. I saw a Euglena and some amoebas! That's going to be the tricky part, learning to ID all the critters by looking at them under the microscope. I asked if there was a good reference book with pictures of them and he said "NOPE." I'm just going to have to look at known samples and practice a lot.

ALSO I'm going to use the scanning electron microscope to take pictures of some of the stuff I find. WOOO!
gmonkey42: a lol!seal saying "O HAI!" (lolseal)
1. Supplementary report for the IACUC committee - DONE

2. Give my grant application to Dr. H to get his feedback before I submit it - DONE

Still to do: stats methods section for my thesis proposal.

I didn't go on the boat today, the other student changed her protocol and didn't need help. But I'm still going Friday to catch & tag seals.
gmonkey42: a lol!seal saying "O HAI!" (lolseal)
Finally. That only took me about a year longer than it should have. I wanted to get it to Dr. H. soon because he's doing some traveling later this month and he says it's a good time to give him things we need him to read so he can do it on the plane.

I'd been tinkering with it for a loooooong time. Finally my mum said I had to stop tinkering and just turn it in Monday and she'd call me Monday night to make sure I'd done it. Haha. It worked! I spent about 90 minutes finishing it up Monday then handed it in.

Next steps:
- build the biopsy punch v2.0.
- find a dead seal to test it on. Or if I can't, then a dead sea lion will do.
- make a report to the IACUC committee on the biopsy punch.

AND there's a grant I want to apply for, I need to get started on that today. Several people in my lab are also applying for it for their seal projects, unfortunately. And their theses are more conservation-related than mine (this organization doing the grant has kind of a conservation angle). BUT the good news is there isn't just one winner, they have a whole pot of money and you can start applying on Oct. 15 and they just keep giving out the grants to qualifying projects until the money runs out. I need to get my application in on or shortly after the 15th. Because I know my lab-mates are on the ball and will get theirs in soon.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I've been reading this blog Halfway There by a math teacher at a community college and the post linked above contains some great advice for getting things done: commit to spending 15 minutes on it every day. The idea is some days you'll only do the 15 but a lot of times you'll find yourself wanting to do more once you get started. I think it's a great idea and I'm going to do it with my thesis proposal, which I need to finish and turn in ASAP.

boats!

Aug. 12th, 2010 03:49 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (scuba2)
I got my small boats certification today! I can drive the 16ft Boston whalers! That's just a name, they're not really for catching whales. You need a bigger boat for that.

We got to look at all the pieces of a disassembled engine and figure out how they went together. Now I know how an internal combustion engine works! That was almost my favorite part. But the driving-the-boat part was pretty awesome too. I got to drive around in the bay then back to the harbor and we got to practice parallel parking at the fuel dock. I bumped it a little on my second go because I approached it a little too fast but overall I did really well! :D

Well, except the part where I was driving in the harbor and the teacher unexpectedly threw one of the flotation devices overboard and said "someone fell in! What are you going to do?" I drove around towards it and he was like "put it in neutral, put it in neutral!" ...I didn't actually run over it but I drove right past. So then I circled around and came up to it slower and came to a stop by it and we got it. So he said the person survived. That's good.

And now I can drive the boats! I just have to reserve the boat and turn in a float plan! Ooooh, the power! Well, I can't exactly go joyriding in them. You get to use them for free two or three times and then the coordinator will start bugging you about funding. But it's cool, they work with you based on how much funding you're able to get and it's partly subsidized by the lab.

I can also be the driver for other people's projects if they need one - then I don't have to worry about paying for it. They need boat drivers for shorebird surveys coming up soon! I'm in!
gmonkey42: cartoon narwhal (narwhals)
1. My original plan was to come to the lab for a few hours before Seminar to work on my thesis stuff (priority 1: IACUC application!) but there's a thesis defense this afternoon, so instead I arrived shortly before Seminar then worked on my IACUC application and now I'm about to go to the thesis defense for free food - I mean to support my fellow student - no, mainly it's the free food. I helped this student with her subtidal work!

2. I thought there would be more bullet points but the defense starts at 4:00 so I need to go down to the seminar room in a minute. Uhhhh. I really thought there was something else to post. I'm hungry. My flu is getting better. I'm still a little congested but it's like 80% better now.

3. Oh! I remember what the other thing was: I'm listening to Pandora Radio and a song came on and I thought "wow, I like this! Who is this?" And it was Jason Mraz. I think I have to punch myself in the face.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Delerium)
The party was so fun. 2010 Student Body is officially awesome. I got lots of compliments on my gumbo. It was totally worth standing at the stove for 45 minutes stirring the roux. I did dark roux this time and it really did taste better. Well, dark-ish. I was running out of time and didn't want to turn the temperature any higher because I was afraid I'd burn it. It was somewhere between peanut butter and milk chocolate color; that's almost dark enough for authentic gumbo. I should have made more gumbo, there were more people than I expected. I put out little insulated cups to try to ration it but it was thick enough that people just ladled it onto their plates. It's supposed to be soup! That's what those cups are for! Ah well, as long as they liked it :D
gmonkey42: a lol!seal saying "O HAI!" (lolseal)
I've had a busy few days!

Wednesday we had our student body new officers orientation meeting. I am now officially President! We'll have our first meeting with just the new officers next week. I have lots of ideas!

Thursday I went to the weekly seminar talk. It was cool, this week's guest speaker was from the USGS and he talked about methods for mapping the seafloor and about his project showing changes in the seafloor here in the bay over time. Like erosion vs deposition. It was at an appropriate level and pretty interesting. Some speakers get really technical about their methods and it's hard to follow if you're not in that specific sub-discipline but this one was good.

Then after seminar, I had a meeting with the new Treasurer to give her the info she needs. Ooh, I just remembered, I still need to write a letter to the bank so they can put her name on the account. Theeeen after that, I had a meeting with Dr. H's wife, who studies fish and has hired me to help with her project for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Sweet!

And today, I went up to the NMFS office in Santa Cruz to learn about their database and I start working next week. I'll have to go up there once a week but apart from that I can do it all from here. Then I came home and had lunch and relaxed for a while and played Star Trek Online. We got to keep our usernames! I'm still funkyspock! :D

Also I've been going to Bikram yoga again. I'm already starting to regain my flexibility!

And now I'm huuuungry! I think I'll have some soup and toast. Mmm, sourdough toast.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I did one presentation today and it went pretty well. Now I just have one more tomorrow but this one is only 5-10 minutes. Which is good because here's what I've been doing instead of reading papers for it:

1. I saw Walk Hard over the weekend and it is SO FUNNY. I hadn't already seen it because I was disappointed with Talladega Nights but Walk Hard is so much better. Plus a bunch of people from The Office are in it, along with some great cameos. Here's a clip (Tim Meadows says "shit" and talks about pot so you might not want to watch it at work):


2. This one isn't even my fault, my labmate sent it to us:
You Know You're a Lab Rat When... )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
We got a load of market squid donated for Open House. Whole, frozen squid, with beaks and squidgy organs and everything. And I'm on the food committee.

On the plus side, we had a load of leftover squid guts and we fed some to the invertebrates in the aquarium. The anemones were all NOM NOM NOM, it was so cute.

And then after we'd finished that, I went into the vertebrate lab and I discovered someone had put my crappy otter skeleton from last year on display. Its legs are falling off! Because the glue didn't work and we sort of did a crappy job! So I got a drill and some nails and I fixed it. It should hold together for the weekend, anyway. I should have used nails in the first place.



One of these days, I'll do a grad school post that's actually about, y' know, school.

d'oh

Feb. 22nd, 2008 02:51 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I had a crappy three-hole-punch and I finally decided to get rid of it and get a better one. I put the old one on the community shelf in the student offices (where I have my desk) with a post-it that said "FREE (does not work well)" thinking maybe somebody would have a use for it - it's OK if you only do one sheet of paper at a time. It disappeared and I thought "cool, it's not going to waste." Today it's back on the shelf with the same sign.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (hairyotter)
Until I get a cool picture of me in the field, this is going to be my "marine biology post" icon. Because it has an otter.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Petunia_SO)
As I said, I didn't have me camera but other people did. Here be some photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7245626@N03/sets/72157602075579335/show

AHOY!

Sep. 19th, 2007 08:27 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Petunia_SO)
Yarr! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys! And I be havin' an amazing nautical story to tell! Me crew and I were out on the bay yesterday doing a practice survey for the birds and mammals class pirating, when we came upon some humpback whales a mob of fearsome sea creatures! We kept our distance because they're a protected species but two of the blighters came right up to the ship! We took pictures had a heroic battle and finally escaped! I didn't have me camera so here be an illustration:

what?

Sep. 13th, 2007 02:35 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I'm reading a bunch of papers we've been assigned for stats class (because, believe it or not, they're slightly more entertaining than the papers we're supposed to read for the bird & mammal class) and I had to read this a few times to make sure it said what I think it said:
Nondemonic intrusion is defined as the impingement of chance events on an experiment in progress.

Nondemonic? I'd hate to see what demonic intrusion involves.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (unhappy Snape)
I was up til almost 3:00AM finishing the stats homework. Note to self: "almost done and hey I think I know how to do the last problem and it'll be easy" isn't the same as "done."

I still like statistics. It's just that sometimes the homework questions are unclear.

I want to go home and eat a big dinner and go to sleep. At least lecture's done and lab will be all in the computer classroom. Lab is pretty fun.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
It turns out I need to get my PCRs done by 5:00PM so other people can use the thermocycler. So I had to stay at the lab instead of help with the whale from yesterday. I don't really mind. It would've been stinky. I'm glad I got to see it, anyway.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
That's right. We think it's a sub-adult male Cuvier's beaked whale. That's pretty rare in the Monterey Bay! It wasn't as big as the adult in the drawing - it was about 3m long.

Here's how it went down: we got a call to the stranding network (our lab deals with the dead animals called in) about a dead dolphin at Asilomar state beach. The stranding coordinator wasn't in yet so we decided to wait til she arrived. Then about an hour later, we got a call from another ranger that the dolphin was in the surf zone and if we wanted it we'd better come and get it before it got swept away. The coordinator (who's also a grad student in the lab) arrived then anyway so four of us took the stretcher and the pickup truck to collect what we thought would be a bottlenose dolphin and take it back to the lab for necropsy.

When we got there, we went "man, that's a bigass dolphin. Wait..." The dorsal fin was further back than a dolphin's and it had a pretty short beak. And it was way too heavy for the four of us to even roll onto the stretcher, let alone carry to the truck. We couldn't take it back to the lab, therefore we'd have to do a field necropsy. Except the tide was coming in and it was getting dark, so we had to tie it to an anchor and leave it until low tide tomorrow.

There were spectators walking by. A few had video cameras. So I'll see if I'm on YouTube in a few days. I did get a photo of me with the whale but it's on the lab camera so I don't have the file yet. I'll post it here when I get it. Don't worry, the whale isn't all gross or anything. People asked if it was alive but from the condition of the skin, it was probably floating for a day or so before it washed up (but my photo is with the good side up - whenever a big enough wave came up, we floated/rolled it as far up the beach as we could). A bunch of people asked if it'd been killed by a shark - a great white shark attacked a surfer last week, which is really rare here - but there weren't any obvious injuries. Then there were the dumb ones like "did it get caught in a trap?" Yes. A whale trap. And someone asked "aren't you worried someone might steal it? [since we're leaving it overnight]" Not without a small crane, they won't. Hypothetically, that would be illegal anyway. You have to have a permit.

A bunch of people wanted to touch it, and did when we weren't standing right there guarding it. Not that it matters to us; we're mostly concerned with sampling the internal organs. But dude, it's a dead animal! We're wearing these gloves for a reason! Not that there's a huge risk of disease transmission but I'll bet they wouldn't walk up and touch roadkill.

In conclusion: best. job. evar.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Delerium)
Classes start tomorrow. I'm not actually enrolled yet (I'm not technically accepted yet...) but a lot of grad students in the program I'm applying to started taking their classes early, which is somewhat cheaper. Plus both classes I'm taking are taught by the PI of the lab I'm applying to, so it'll give me more opportunities to make a good impression.

I think I stand a much better chance of getting in now (I'm going to apply for Spring semester admission). Which means: holy crap, I'm really going to go to grad school. Eep!

I'm taking one class on marine birds and mammals and another on statistics that a couple of friends from the scientific diving class are also taking. I heard there's going to be a ridiculous amount of reading for the bird & mammal class. Some people got the reading list a few weeks ago so they could get a head start but with Prophecy and then the diving class, I didn't think I'd have time so I didn't bother.

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