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Ben Shih

SEYI Blog #3

posted August 5, 2016

The past eight weeks at the History of Life internship has been a really eye opening experience. For the past few weeks of the internship Benjamin and I have been working on our research project. Our topic was about the relationship between sea depth and metabolic rate in deep sea gastropods and bivalves. This project was really fun because not only did Benjamin and I come to an interesting conclusion but I got a taste of how scientific research projects are conducted. I was also given the opportunity to use “R Statistical Software.” I had no coding experience prior to this internship so having the opportunity to code graphs was really cool. Seeing the final product being printed was also an amazing experience. However, without Noel’s help, the project would have never turned out at as great as it did; and for that I am grateful. I am looking forward to presenting our research at the AGU meeting!

Overall, my time at Stanford was truly fantastic. I met dozens of great people and bonded with a lot of peers who also aspire to be scientists. I’ll never forget the people and the time I spent here at Stanford.

SEYI Blog #2

posted July 20, 2016

My past few weeks at this program has been really exciting. The presenters Noel has come talk to us have all been very interesting. Each speaker has a different and interesting study. I was amazed by the variety the field of biology provides as well as all the unique stories of the presenter of how they came to Stanford.

In addition to the many presentations, we also went on two more field trips. The first one was on a research vessel in the San Francisco Bay. There we trapped and studied fish as well as diatoms and benthic organisms. Overall, the boat trip was very exciting because of all the hands-on activities the crew had prepared. The second field trip we went on was an overnight camping trip in Pinnacles National Park. On the way to the park, we stopped by the road to look for fossils of ancient crabs and clams. On the second day, we went for a hike. Overall, I thought that the trip was fun, but I still prefer the comfort of my own bed.

As of right now, Noel has us working on our research projects that we plan to submit to the AGU summit in December. My partner, Benjamin, and I, are currently collecting data on our topic and creating graphs. Hopefully we can come to an interesting conclusion. I’m looking for to the last two weeks of the program.

SEYI Blog #1

posted June 29, 2016

The past few weeks in the biodiversity program has been quite an eye-opening experience for me. I’ve learned a lot of amazing things about nematodes along with various other organisms.

For the most part, we spend most of our time logging data of nematodes from the books onto an excel spreadsheet. However, every so often, our supervisor, Noel, will give us some scientific documents to read or give a presentation about animals or paleontology in general. The scientific documents are more or less pretty interesting and helps give me a better understanding of the scientific community.

This past Monday, the 28th, Noel took us out to New Brighton near Santa Cruz to look at fossil beds on the eroded sea wall. When we arrived there, I was blown away by the amount of fossils that were there as well as the specific way the bivalves and sea snails fossilized. Noel later told us that the snail fossils are usually underneath the bivalves because the sea snail’s shell shape makes it more dense and thus makes it sink faster compared to the bivalve shells. That same Monday, we drove to an observatory near UC Santa Cruz to look at a real skeleton of a blue whale and gray whale. On the ventral-posterior side of the blue whale, the vestigial hip bones were clearly visible, which I thought was very cool.

During my three weeks at this program I’ve learned so much and had many great opportunities to meet new people. Hopefully the remaining weeks will be just as great!