Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 26: Back off man, I'm a scientist!

It rained today! I may be the only one excited about the rain – as Hannah said, I was walking through the lab with a mischievous smile once I got my rain water sample! And I was too, for some reason I was super excited. Well, there is a reason. It had rained in the early morning so LeeAnn and I stapled a plastic sheet to some wood and chucked it in the parking lot behind the cafeteria, weighing it down with some buckets full of rocks. The plastic was used to catch the rainfall in a pool so it can be analyzed for nutrients. This gives us a standard of comparison so we can see if the nutrients going into the lakes are from the rain itself or gathered in the water before it enters the lake as runoff. So why was I excited? Take a look at the set up:

The set up of my water collection through the bear bars of the
window. In the old buildings, the windows are covered with
bars to keep the bears from breaking the glass and getting in.

Any guesses on how much water this can gather?

A better picture of the set up between down pours. Pretty
scientific, right?

So how much water? That was why I was so excited!! That little set up got me two liters of water! I had more than enough water to filter! No wonder I was smiling mischievously, I just get that excited about my water samples!

So, you know, back off man, I’m a scientist. (Currently watching Ghostbusters with a bunch of nerdy scientists, hence the reference.) And being a scientist, I am allowed to get excited and get away with anything. Scientists just have the perfect reputation of eccentricity, extreme passion, and random bouts of giddiness with even the slightest discovery or the hope of data. And why wouldn't we. Look where we work! Outside all day in beautiful lakes and doing something that is worth the work, something that will advance our understanding of the world around us. What can be greater than that knowledge and exploration?

This is Ramsay - remember the lake that was covered in ice
and I drilled into during my first week here? Well, the ice is gone
but there is still some snowpacks around the edges. That's me
with a probe to take readings on pH, water temperature,
conductivity and dissolved oxygen. What an amazing job!
Cold, but amazing!


  1. I think being a scientist is the most badass thing one can do. Props to that.

  2. Being anything that you are passionate to be is the best thing you can do. I hope that science is the thing that keeps me going!