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Adyota Gupta

Echnoidea in the Mesozoic Era

posted Jul 29, 2013

This internship just gets better and better. We finally winded down on data collection and started to work on the project. I finally realized how all these measurements previously made were necessary for our project. Essentially over the past 5 weeks, we have made a huge database of the size of organisms. By using this newly acquired database, and using previously existing databases, we would be able to develop a new project.

For our project we decided to look at the species which are the members of class echnoidea. We decided to look at size to determine whether Cope's Rule or Bergmann's rule takes precedence. The time period we are looking at is the Mesozoic Era. We decided to take this time period because there is a large amount of temperature fluctuation. After analyzing the graphs, we found that Cope's Rule dominates. No direct correlation was found between body size and Carbon Dioxode levels. To assess Bergmann's rule, latitude was taken into consideration and was found to not be valid. Instead, the opposite is true.

Finally, the trip to UC Berkeley was fun. It consisted of sorting out fossils. It helped us learn how organisms are classified. We later went to look at the Hayward fault. We first went to the well-known Cal Stadium, which is slowly diverging due to the creep of the Hayward fault. Later, we walked up a creek to observe how its water-flow is affected by the movement of the fault.

each and every species of echinoderms and ostracods

posted Jul 6, 2013

I have been to many summer programs so far, and by far, this one is one of the most unique so far. To be honest, I never explored paleontology and just as a naturally curious person, I thought I would apply here to se how it is. Turns out it proved to be a great decision.

So far we have been collecting data. We have been rigorously and carefully measured each and every species of echinoderms and ostracods. While this seemed to be quite repetitive, it allowed me to see how some scientists obtain and create data. Also, it further allowed me to accept that ground breaking research need not to be conducted in a lab, just like my own science fair projects.

Then we went to the beach to look at fossils and tide-pool dwelling organisms. Obviously, I was excited because it was a drastic change from data collection. In the end, it was really interesting to look at the fossils in the rock and tide pools near the ocean that I would have otherwise blissfully ignored. I love how the sea urchin hugged my was really cute! At the same time, I realized that this type of work is really hard, time consuming, and stressful. I can imagine how much time, effort, and energy that the paleontologists placed in compiling those volume of books we are using right now.

I also thought that the presentations were really interesting. I liked the grad student from Australia. Not because I was born in Australia, but because he used this really cool algorithm, known as the "ABC algorithm" for searching and finding the highest point. The cool thing is that it takes full inspiration from bees. I was so inspired that I decided to implement the logic religiously myself in my other science fair projects.

I can't wait to develop my project. I heard we are starting on Monday, so I know this will be a blast! :-)