Tuesday, September 14, 2010


all's well.

the most exciting update is that i went electrofishing for the first evvvvveeeerrrrrr on monday! and it was a surprise too!

when electrofishing, one sends an electric current through a body of water. this current should stun any fish in the vicinity, making it much easier to catch them. usually with nets. and yes, i have deemed it humane enough.

anyways. so one of the big ongoing projects in the aquatics lab is a bioaccumulation study. basically, they catch fish and other animals from several sites around eastern tennessee and determine the levels of heavy metals, toxins, etc. in the animals. when i went out turtle hunting a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to catch snapping turtles for this study. then, on monday morning, right after i finished putting my fish in their tanks for my experiment, amber came into my cube and asked if i could go out into the field! her and kelly were going to a site to catch exactly three properly-sized largemouth bass and wanted me to come with and help!

it was quite fun. we were boat electrofishing, which means the anode and cathode, through which the current passes, are both on a boat. you can also uses barges or backpack shockers to electrofish. and hopefully i will get to try out barge electrofishing on friday. kelly drove the boat and amber and i stood at the bow with nets. she controlled the actual current with a foot pedal. whenever the current was on and we ended up near fish, the fish would stop swimming and flip upside. it was really easy to see them because most fish have white ventral surfaces which stood out against the (fairly clean yet) green water.

there weren't tons of largemouth bass in the area we were in, but we managed to get three. and by "we" i mean amber. i didn't have strong enough id skills to really pick out bass from suckers, bluegills, etc. so i kind of sucked. it was a good learning experience though! by the time i get to use bart's backpack shocker back at LU, i'll be a pro!

there was a recommended brown bag seminar today for the ORSS students. i went. it was a waste of time. the session was on scientific writing and, because i'm a writing tutor, it was all very old hat for me. the presenter didn't have a ton of time, so he skimmed over a lot of topics that i'm already really familiar with. whatevs.

everyone at lawrence has already started classes. i want to be there so bad! i miss everyone. i registered for winter and spring term classes today though! it was sort of like being on campus...not. here's my schedule, for anyone who's interested.

-organic chem I (yippee, right?)
-independent study on microcystin with bart
-philosophy tutorial with ryckman

-organic chem II
-molecular bio (so so so excited for this one, for real!)
-intro to religious studies

speaking of classes, my calc class is really easy. first, i already know everything from AP calc in high school. second, it's a community college course, so the professor goes pretty slowly. third, my professor is actually pretty good and he explains things well, and uses technology aids efficiently.

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