You are here

Adrian Hinkle's blog

Week 10: When One Door Shuts, Another Opens

Week ten got lonely at times, with most of the other interns gone. With my poster finished and my final paper mostly complete, I had nothing to do but dive back into my experiments. Then again, I never really stopped experimenting in the first place. Mostly I worked with magnetite, the fourth and final iron oxide suspension for my project. I also worked on background tests to prove that the probes are actually doing what we claim they are doing. By eliminating certain components from my reactions, I could show specific roles of certain variables (such as pH or syringe filters).

Week 9: When It Rains, It Pours

If going to class is like Oregon's weather, then research is not. Classes have set times for exams, routine homework, and predictable (albeit unending) project deadlines - just like Oregon has a set times for it to rain, routine drizzle, and predictable (albeit unending) dreary weather forecasts. Research on the other hand is less reliable. Sometimes days will pass with nothing exciting to work on, while other days you'll be in the lab into the evening, frantically trying to fix machines, run experiments, and update lab notebooks all at the same time.

Week 8: Too Much Data to Absorb

Like the last one, this posting is delayed because maintenance to the CMOP servers kept the website down the past week. Week eight was exciting because a lot of results were produced, but it was a lot of work. I worked entirely on the neighboring lab’s UV vis, since ours is broken and won’t be fixed before I leave. This has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as this alternate UV vis is faster and easier to use.

Week 7: Houston, We Have a Problem

Even if you know close to nothing about my project, knowing that I’m using spectrometry (rather than the more conventional electrode technique) for characterizing ORP is enough to realize that a broken spectrometer poses a large problem. Fortunately we have other labs next door whose equipment I can borrow. However, that has been accompanied by a headache of new calibrations and blanks that I’ve had to run, ensuring that the data from our spectrometer will line up with theirs.

Week 6: The More the Merrier

This week involved a lot of grinding through experiments, one by one. There was a lot to do, and not a lot of variety to it. However, I figure that the more experiments I get done now, the more time I'll have at the end to wrap everything up. I worked on testing the effect of the length of the probe and iron oxide reaction on absorbance.

Week 5: Listen to What I Mean, Not What I Say

Half way through a 10 week internship, it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of data collection. With the allure of producing data and tangible results, it’s no surprise that everything else is forgotten. My presentation Thursday went well. It served as an excuse to get out of that data rut. For example, I created my first presentation-quality graph. I re-read some background papers, and reminded myself of the objectives of my project. Far less is learned by collecting the data than is learned by explaining it to others, so I'm glad I had the opportunity to present my research.

Week 4: A Watched Cuvette Never Turns Blue

Like last week, this week was a blur. Monday lab meeting was productive; right away I knew it’d be bustling week. It started with freezing mixed probe (indigo disulfonate) and iron oxide (lepidocrocite) solutions. Freezing the samples at different rates may impact their redox conditions upon thawing. I continued absorbance tests on Monday as well.

Week 3: “Proper Labeling of Axes is Absolutely Crucial”

One of the highlights of the week was receiving this email from my PI:         

Week 2: The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Lab Bench

With Dimin and almost everybody else in my lab group gone at a conference, I envied the neighboring lab group, who seemed to be busily experimenting away. Usually interns come in, spend most of the first week reading journal articles and background research, and then excitingly get to carry out their first experiments the second week. Counterintuitively, I worked on experiments the first week, and now got to read for much of the second. Furthermore, I waited for new filters to come in, so couldn’t even carry out basic tests that I planned on executing.

Week 1: Off the Deep End

My first day here at CMOP was Monday, June 16th. After a whirlwind tour of OHSU campus and a quick introduction to the other summer interns, I met my lab group. Our PI, Paul Tratnyek, explained the project to me; then my mentor, Dimin, showed me around the lab. Before I knew it, I was preparing a solution of Indigo Disulfonate to start testing! For my project, Redox Probes to Characterize Environmental Processes, I will work alongside Dimin to test probes that mimic real-life redox reactions.

Subscribe to RSS - Adrian Hinkle's blog