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Connie Huynh

Time flies so quickly it's sad

posted August 07, 2015

Time flies so quickly it's sad. Eight weeks have gone by in a blink of an eye, but those eight weeks were totally worth it. Not only have I learned so much, but I've gained a family. The friends that I made, words cannot describe how amazing they are. Without them, this program would not have been the same. In the last few weeks, us interns focused on our project. Allison and I continued our project on "The Effect of Size and Ecology on Extinction Susceptibility". With the help of Noel, we were able to crest graphs and tables that contributed to our results. We found that size did not matter during a mass extinction, however ecology does. It was fun learning how to code in R. Well... technically Noel wrote the codes and we edited them. But still, it was cool seeing how the codes turned into graphs!

The best part of interning was being able to experience camping! It was the first time I have ever been camping and it was so much fun! I enjoyed being able to go swimming with my fellow interns, playing Marco Polo and throwing the frisbee. Cooking dinner with them was also fun, walking up to the picnic tables and sitting there until 1:30AM. The funniest part was when Hefan left the tables at around 10 to go to sleep, but then a few hours later returned to join us at midnight. However, when we returned to the campsite at 1, Cindy discovered that her backpack was missing. Stolen by the raccoons, we can hear her mumbling in her tent all night. At least she found it in the end! I think camping gave me the opportunity to get to know the interns on a personal level. It definitely brought all of us together and made us become not friends, but a family. I wish we were able to camp longer, but that Monday and Tuesday was definitely worth it.

Eventually the last day came and all of us had to present our poster. It was awesome seeing and hearing about the amazing things us interns accomplish during our eight weeks. Us interns pitched in and got the best mentor ever, Noel, a gift! We all sneakily (at least that's what I think) got everyone to sign an apron for him. I hope he liked it! I'm so glad Noel was our mentor for the eight weeks. He is so nice and wow, he is so smart. He is also makes such delicious desserts. Mmm. I hope our gifts to him showed him how much we appreciate him. I am forever grateful of Noel. No gift can ever tell him how thankful I am.

I am sad to say that eight weeks are finally over. I miss going to class and seeing all my friends. I don't, however, miss bussing! That was not fun! But it was definitely worth it in the end. Hopefully everyone will show up at AGU! See you all soon! Best wishes!

We are currently in our fifth week...

posted July 15, 2015

We are currently in our 5th week of the history of life internship and it has been nothing but pure awesomeness! Shayna and I haven’t finished our data collection book, however it seems that everyone has phased out from doing data collection. This is primarily due to the fact that we’ve been assigned new partners and began our research project. I am paired with Allison and we are working on the topic mass extinction. Basically what we want to figure out is whether size and ecology plays a role on a species survival during a mass extinction. As of right now, Allison and I have been collecting data through both the web and from R. Noel, fortunately, gave us the coding we need in order to extract the necessary data from the files. I am excited for this project.

Last week on Wednesday July 08, both the history of life and general program went on a field trip to the Monterey Hopkins Marine Station. Everyone was able to climb through the rocks and sand. As I adventured out near the ocean, I saw so many different species. Noel found two crabs during different time intervals and picked both of it up. I managed to take a picture of each individual crab. I was also lucky enough to spot out sea otters. A lot of them rested on the rocks, but I also saw some that swam around in the ocean. They were extremely cute! I think the most memorable part during this trip was when the interns were climbing around and the birds from across the ocean were mocking us with their ‘laugh’. It was really funny. I had an enjoyable time at the marine station!



Becoming an intern for the first time was definitely something new...

posted July 02, 2015

Becoming an intern for the first time was definitely something new. I’ve officially been an intern for over 2 weeks. Everyday has definitely been different and fun! Every single day I learn something new. The lectures and activities Noel gives the class in the morning allows me to expand my knowledge on certain topics. It also gives me an opportunity to interact with my fellow interns. Team work is definitely something that we do on a daily basis. When Noel isn’t lecturing and when we do not have an activity to do, we do data collection. My partner is Shayna. Shayna and I go through packets of data and record them in excel. It is interesting to learn and record information about the different genera. Also, aside from data collection, Noel has been teaching us R coding. Coding is difficult! However, I do enjoy learning about it because coding is something I always wanted to do. I am glad that I am given the opportunity to learn coding as an intern.

I won’t forget the most recent field trip because it was the first time in 2 years since I’ve gone to a beach. On June 26, I was able to go on a field trip to two different beaches along with my fellow interns. At 8AM, Noel picked Cindy, Kim, Weber, Frank, Fabiola, and I in San Jose in his mini-van. Noel drove us down to Capitola Beach. There, my fellow interns and I observed the different rocks laid out on the sand. These rocks were extremely interesting to look at. When looking at these rocks we were able to see that they were indeed fossils. These rocks had shells fossilized in them. When I touched these rocks, I could feel the shell and the texture it possessed. Also, Kim and I saw observed the clam beds. The clam beds appeared to be originally imprinted throughout the sand wall, however we also saw that the imprints were also founded throughout the rocks. Kim and I concluded that the sea level was originally higher, but eventually leveled out and moved outwards, hence the clam beds were moved onto the rocks. The most memorable part during our visit at Capitola was when Shayna and I climbed onto the wall and saw a huge chunk of sand rock slide down and broke. It scared us to death, hence we had to climb back down. When we got down, we had to walk across the rocks to reach the other side of the beach. It was definitely a struggle. One tip, never walk on rocks with sandals. It is very painful. I had so much fun that Friday, I would definitely go back to explore it some more!