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Amy Gao

It's almost over...

posted July 29, 2016

It's almost over, I hate to say that I do miss all of the other interns. Like last year, I would like to write a little note to the people who I met this summer. Catalina, we worked out our research pretty well huh? Maybe there are some hard times when we were kind of stuck in the no correlation result. But anyway we made it. I know that you love chemistry and might consider to become a chemist in the future, and I really hope that your wish comes true. It's nice to meet you, I'll be missing you. Hey Will, shall I say hey bacon? We have the same birthday! Happy birthday on August 5th. I believe you have a great time this year right? Definitely, I got a good name from you guys. It's nice to see you and chat with you after our poster is done. You are still young, and I hope once you pick your dream college then you will receive an acceptance letter from the college. Best luck to you on college application. Alex! Salsa! I thought we all love maggots, why you left me doing a maggot dissection that day? Just kidding, I'm really glad I met a guy like you this summer. You are very intelligent, brave, and healthy I guess(I say that because you are super active). Really glad to meet you, best luck to you too on your college application. By the end I want to say thank to all of the professors who came to give a talk and Noel. Thank you for being helpful this summer. I look forward to see you all again.


On Monday we headed to the Pinnacles National Park...

posted July 29, 2016

On Monday we headed to the Pinnacles National Park for an overnight camping. Since I went to the same place last year, I have some expectations and complaints. As we all know, last year has been the hottest summer in a long time. Camping outdoor without any modern technology is a little difficult for me. The weather this year was cooler than last year which I think was more enjoyable. On our way to the Pinnacles National Park, we visited two fossil places. I found some crab fossils (I got lucky this year), but I did not take them home because I feel like even though there is tons of fossils out in the wild to be discovered, if everyone takes one home, there might not be any left ten years after. This year's interns around me who are younger than me always ask questions about college and my thoughts about this internship. That really pushed me to interact with them, and I find them easy to talk to, and I think I feel old among them (that's why I always say I am an upcoming freshman, freshman I guess). After the camping we started our research paper. Catalina and I decided to do a research on how does environmental factors particularly oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sea levels affected the diversification and average body size of marine animals. We all interested in biology and chemistry and environmental science. The process of getting a research poster done is not as easy as I thought even I have done this before. We came to a point where the correlation tests do not verify our hypothesis, and there is no correlation between the factors and diversification. We were really stressed because we all feel like there should be an answer to our question. By furthering our research we finally found that there is a correlation between them, I'm not going to reveal our final findings here but on August 3rd. I believe it'll be interesting.


Having been part of the history of life internship last year...

posted June 29, 2016

Having been part of the history of life internship last year gives me a good understanding of what paleo biology is. This year, I feel like we focused more on the biology or evolution part. I have participated in several lab meetings and individual presentations on majority evolutionary biology. I am interested into the diseased cell presentation. I thought that this year might be a duplicated experience at beginning, but it was totally different. The idea of the whole internship has not change, but the material does change. We focused on Nematodes data collection this year, and the experience last year helped me to finally get to know how to use “R”. Last Monday, we went to the New Brighton State Beach and the UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab. We saw blue whale and gray whale skeletons. Blue whale known as the biggest mammal got washed up on shore in 1979. According to the marine biologist at UC Santa Cruz, the skeleton comes from a female blue whale about fifty years old. All in all, the internship has gotten off to a great start; but from what I've learned last year, it’s about to get even better.

During these two months...

posted August 07, 2015

During these two months, I met 17 people who have the same interests as me. They are great! Cindy, you are very youthful. I still remember your adventure in the Pinnacles National Park. It has been a great summer with you. Allison, we are the same kind of people who do not like to talk that much. I am glad to know you. Weber, we worked together on data collection for nearly a month. We are still not talking that much to each other by the end of this internship which is weird. Thank you for teaching me how to use Excel, and thank you for all of your hard works. To all of the interns, thank you for making my summer so joyful. To all of the graduate students and supervisors, thank you for giving me this great opportunity to explore the field of science. Special thank you to Jenny and Noel, thank you for your patience. I will miss all of you and hope to see you next year.

During these two weeks...

posted July 14, 2015

During these two weeks, we had about five presentations given by Stanford graduate students. Geology is very important to our daily life. By looking at different fossils, we see how life forms and understand evolution. Noel also took us to the marine station on Wednesday. Below are the pictures I took from one of the research group's resources. We started our research project last week, and I decided to do characteristics that caused certain species' extinction. My partner and I are both interested in evolution and extinction; therefore, we came up with this idea. This internship will end in seventeen days. I hope I will have a well done research project turned in by then.

I started the History of Life summer internship...

posted July 02, 2015

I started the History of Life summer internship three weeks ago, and it was more joyful than I expected it to be. We met each other in the Mitchell Earth Science Building for the first time on June 16th. Everything seemed new and interesting to me, except I got lost on the campus. At beginning of this program, I was afraid of getting up early and working with people that I did not know, but everyone was very kind. I was impressed by my parents because they stayed on the campus with me. They could go no where except benches and buildings. From nine to four, they sit in the hot weather for seven hours. I live in the East Bay, we had to get up around 5:30 a.m. and leave the house no later than 6:00 a.m. and my dad had to drive for five hours per day. I remembered Jenny, one of the super advisors, said that this blog can be anything; therefore, I wanted to say thank you to my parents for being so supportive to my first summer internship even though they might never see or understand this blog.

I learned some geology knowledge from Noel, my super advisor, within these three weeks already. We had lectures, lab meetings, and article discussions every week. Basically what we did in general was data collection. We read through the articles about bacteria and recorded the cell sizes and some general information. It sounded like a very tedious job, but it was actually acceptable, and I started to like data collection because I felt accomplished for all the data done by my partner and me. We learned new material everyday. Besides all of those activities I mentioned above, Noel introduced useful software like "R" to us. "R" is a programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

I am happy to be part of this internship, and I enjoy it. (Here are some pictures of the Stanford campus)

Aerial of Stanford looking north
Aerial of Stanford looking east