An Internship to Remember
posted August 07, 2015
The final weeks of this internship have been busy, fun, and an awesome learning experience. Coming into this internship, I never realized I would have learned so much about prokaryotes, body size, and the programming language R. One of the highlights of the last few weeks was the camping trip to Pinnacles. We found various marine fossils, went swimming, and enjoyed a nice 5 mile hike. I have learned so much and made so many friends throughout these past two months. This internship is an experience I will never forget.
The Research Paper
posted July 15, 2015
After the first few weeks of the internship, a research project was introduced to us. I chose Weber Wong as my partner, and we decided to study the relationship between body size evolution in marine animals with changes in abiotic factors over time. The biggest challenge to this project so far is understanding how to use R to successfully parse through and graph the data that Noel gave us. We plan on graphing the mean body size of animals and finding the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between the mean body size and temperature, sea level, oxygen concentration, carbon dioxide concentration, weathering, and the rate of the carbon cycle. Other than our research project, we have been using calipers to measure the body sizes of other fossils throughout different eras of Earth's history. Our latest field trip, our excursion to the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, was a very interesting experience. I received the opportunity to tour the laboratory and view various organisms of the phylum echinodermata. This internship has been great so far, and I look forward to my last few weeks in this internship.
The first two weeks...
posted July 02, 2015
The first two weeks of the History of Life internship have been fruitful and interesting so far. Collectively, we have garnered large amounts of data from the prokaryote articles we have been reading. The feeling after finishing an excel spreadsheet after sifting through enormous amounts of text is amazingly euphoric. The data I have processed has greatly expanded my understanding of the diverse capabilities of bacteria and the sheer amount of biodiversity they contribute to the Earth. My favorite activity so far has been visiting the New Brighton and Pomponio beaches. Climbing through rocky areas, examining fossils, and finding all sorts of interesting ecological and biological phenomena in those beaches was intellectually stimulating and a refreshing end to a week of work. We learned about R, which is a programming language designed to process data mathematically. R's language syntax seemed bizarre at first, but when I dug down to the core of the programming language, its basic components were like any other language I learned previously. Learning R has been the most difficult challenge so far, and I look forward to continuing to learn R.