For someone with little to no background in aquatic sciences (including actual physical contact with the ocean), I thought the first course was a great introduction. I learned more than my fair share about the Ekman transport which plays a large role in driving the ocean currents, and debated the implications of shutting down dying fish markets to help conserve endangered species. Although the lessons were a little hard to follow at times because we were given material at flying speeds, and reworking R codes were frustrating, I also got to know more about my professors and connect with the people in my program through our family group dinners and treks outside coastal Maine. I won’t belabor the “cultural difference” joke between these 2 different parts of Maine, but somehow the air in East Boothbay is just right for outdoor walks.
The last week, however, wasn’t great. It was a BIG week. We had our marine debris lab, project proposal, and exam stacked right after each other which essentially meant that I got very little sleep. BUT, I was relieved to have finally finished a large chunk of work. (I hope this doesn’t sound too much like a debriefing which it kinda is, but what else can I write about???)
I’ve been making good headway with my project as I’ve been growing three different strains of diatom cultures in media with increasingly lower nutrient contents. It’s tedious work but I’ve been having fun getting some more time in the lab.
To round out the week, Tay & I visited Damariscotta’s 13th annual Pumpkinfest and saw a good selection of pumpkin themed events. Both a pumpkin catapult and a pumpkin drop were in attendance for the festival. I was a little skeptical about how much fun the events would be, but there’s something about watching a giant pumpkin launched into the air and becoming a tiny speck in the sky that really makes your heart grow a little bigger. It was immensely enjoyable. Please enjoy this photoset of the pumpkin (the speck) being thrown into oblivion.
Not much else is new: next stop is Biological Oceanography with Pete Countway & Anne Booker!