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Week Eightitude

What happened this week? Lots! I used Monday to work on getting 3D fluorescence curves for Zn and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and to see if I could create standard curves for these two using the Fluoromax (a spectrofluorometer). I used Tuesday to run some tests of different NH4 concentrations with different DOC concentrations. I got the same results that I had gotten last week with my preliminary tests. That is, with higher DOC concentrations, the standard curves got lower slopes, but higher y-intercepts. On Wednesday, I did the same thing I did on Tuesday, but with Zn instead of NH4.

Week Seven - The week when I realized, "Ah! It's already week seven!"

This week, I worked on trying to solve The Great Mystery of the Zn Fluorescence! What ghost is hiding in the Fluoromax and making my zinc values way too high? Too bad Scooby Doo isn't around to help me with this one.

Week Six

So, this week I worked on both ammonium and zinc assays. I did another temperature experiment with ammonium; again, it didn't work out too well. I found that if I put my samples in the -80C freezer for 5 minutes, there was some ice - no good. Then, if I put them in there for 4 minutes and then let them sit in the 4C water bath until I was ready to measure them, they still weren't cold enough, they were only about 8C. So, I think the next time I do another temperature experiment, I'll try to put the samples in the freezer for 4 minutes and just measure them right away.

Week Five

I spent this week at the OSU campus, working with Zanna Chase. There, Zanna showed me how to measure zinc concentrations using fluorescence. At first, we had some trouble using the fluorometer; it was giving us inconsistent numbers and varied significantly depending on how much sample we ran through the machine. Eventually, we decided that it wasn't working to put the sample through the machine using a syringe, so we switched to using a peristaltic pump to get a continuous flow. That seemed to work a lot better.

Week Four

 This week, I went out sampling with Jami on Monday and Tuesday. We went to a few creeks, two rivers, and three waste water treatment plants. It was interesting to see how Jami's sampler works and to see the inside of the WWTPs. Also, llamas! I didn't know farms in Oregon raised llamas! Ha!

Week Three

This week, I did sojme experiments on how temperature affects the concentration of ammonium detected in a sample. It's been a little difficult to get my samples down to 4 degrees celsius; we've tried both an ice bath and a controlled water bath. Also, Zanna Chase came over from OSU to discuss what we'll be doing when I go to spend a week over there in July. It was really great being able to talk with her about the project and to get an idea of what I'll be doing while I'm at OSU. I also washed out lots of bottles to prepare for my sampling trip out with Jami.

Week Two

"NSF site visit!!!" are the words sure to strike fear into the hearts of many scientists who rely on their funding as well as striking the urge to play Kiwi Poker into the hearts of a few others here at CMOP. It was actually very interesting to see and I think it's good to know that even when you're a superstar scientist with your own lab and a fancy white coat, you still have to answer to somebody. That sucks. When will I ever be able to answer to nobody? I asked my mom this question the other day. She told me to go to my room. :(

Weeeeeeeeek the foist

This week, I met all the interns, CMOP staff, and the people that'll be working in the same lab as me (Dr.Needoba's, aka Joe's lab). I am slowly beginning to understand what my project for the summer will entail. I've read a lot of background information; the idea of using fluorescence to measure the amount of ammonia in a sample is wholly new to me. I also conjured up some ammonia standards of varying concentrations, and I made a working reagent solution, which I need to mix with the standards before running them through the fluorometer.

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