Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Letting the ethanol get to my head

Today is another day in the laboratory for me. We have three crew members in the field per day and luckily we have two pretty awesome volunteers who come out three days a week, so that gives each of us permanent crew members one day in the laboratory per week. Wednesday is my laboratory day. So today I'll be heading to the field laboratory, a small building with a really awesome equipment storage facility (yes, other biologists would drool), where I'll be processing our fish samples from the past week and writing some Visual Basic script to help run some GIS programs a little more efficiently. I love my field days the most, but days in the laboratory are still much more awesome than being in a cubicle. I'm in the lab independently, so that means I can focus on getting the work done with my own music selections on Pandora playing in the background, the blinds open to let the sun shine in, and I can even talk or grumble to myself if I want to (not that I do that...). Processing fish samples entails the following:
  1. dumping the sample jars filled with tiny fish, shrimp, crayfish, etc. from one sample site onto a lab tray
  2. sorting the species into little piles of like species
  3. identifying, measuring, and weighing each individual species
  4. recording the data accurately
  5. storing the bird prey species in ethanol in each sample jar which is archived (aka. put in boxes) for future need or analysis
We've been gettings some interesting prey species including:
  • flagfish
  • lots of killifish species
  • golden topminnows
  • mosquito fish
  • cichlids
  • sirens
  • crayfish
  • grass shrimp
  • predaceous diving beetles
  • dragonfly larvae
  • damselfly larvae
  • beetle larvae
Anyone have some good sample processing music suggestions?

1 comment:

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