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Daniel Guo

having fun and doing scientific research

posted Aug 09, 2013

The Stanford Earth Sciences internship has come and gone. These eight weeks have certainly gone by rapidly, but even in that timespan, I learned many things about biology and the fossil record, all while having fun and doing scientific research. I have met many people at this internship, and I will miss them all.

Near the end of this program, I completed my ostracod volumes. These were very tedious and required me to record the size, species name, period, place found, etc. of all the ostracods in a volume. I finished two volumes (about 650 species). I also finished working on my AGU project, which involves finding the relationship between ostracod size and the amount of biomass in oil wells. We discovered that there was a very significant correlation between the two (the p-value was less than 10-14), and we will present our information at the AGU meeting in December.

On the last day of our internship, we presented our final projects. The first ones to present were the General Program interns. Some of their projects were very intriguing, such as Jared’s beryllium dating of rocks. After these presentations, we had pizza, played Mafia, and went over to view our posters. (I presented my poster on an earlier day with my partners, Aditya and Amogh.) Our posters were very well developed and aesthetically beautiful, and all of our projects were very interesting.

This internship was very interesting and informative, and a very good opportunity to perform some scientific research. It was a very good experience overall, and I look forward to coming back next year, if possible.

having fun and doing scientific research

posted Aug 09, 2013

Another four weeks of the Stanford Earth Sciences internship has gone by, with many learning opportunities and fun events. Throughout this internship, I have met many people, all of whom are friendly and share my passion for science.

Our AGU project, which will be presented in December to a large group of scientists, involves finding the relationship between ostracod size and the amount of biomass in oil wells. Our hypothesis is that ostracods of longer length imply more biomass, and thus more oil. We are almost finished with this project; we have yet to write up our poster. The code, data collection, and abstract for the project are also finished. The data collection was tedious; we had to individually record the time periods, the latitude, and the longitude of each ostracod recorded. In the end, however, our hard work paid off.

Our most recent field trip was to UC Berkeley. We explored the Valley Earth Sciences Building. We saw a large remodeled Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton and received a tour of Berkeley’s gigantic collection of fossils. After this tour, we went to the California Memorial Stadium, lying directly above the Hayward Fault. The fault split the stadium in two, and we even saw the line where the split was. We learned that the Hayward Fault is a strike-slip fault, meaning the plates move parallel to the fault. We also learned that the stadium was split in two to accommodate the movement of the fault. Finally, we saw Strawberry Creek, a dried-up river which had its course shifted by the movement of the fault. Our trip was very interesting and a great learning experience.

A mastodon fossil.

First Weeks of the Earth Science Internship

posted July 06, 2013

The Earth Sciences Internship here at Stanford University is on its third week. It is very interesting and also quite fun to be here. Not only do we perform research and collect data that can reveal much more knowledge about the evolutionary history of older organisms, we also got to explore by going on exciting field trips.

This Tuesday, we went to two beaches along the coast of California. At one, the New Brighton Beach in Santa Cruz, we examined the cliff face to understand its history. We examined fossils of old marine organisms, such as clams, most of which dated to the Pliocene era, around 2.5 to 5 million years ago. We saw some rare organisms as a bonus, such as the rare isopod.

The other beach we went to, Pebble Beach, was also quite interesting. We walked on the tide pools and saw all kinds of marine wildlife, such as sea anemones, crabs, and seals. We also examined the rocks and learned about the natural processes that caused the rocks’ shape. All in all, the field trip was great, and I look forward to exploring science in greater depth.