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Saket Bakshi

I am extremely amazed...

posted August 11, 2017

I am extremely amazed at how rewarding the experience of interning at Stanford has been. I began the program, thinking it would mostly consist of working to create data but I was proven wrong. I have had unprecedented amounts of fun over the summer and I could not be more thankful.

Two interns standing in front of a poster

These past few weeks have been especially interesting. The project Andrew and I started working on has now been completed and presented. Not only have we worked together on a subject we found interesting, but we were appalled by the results of our findings. The sea urchin sizes have indeed grown over time – as expected – but the smaller percentiles of sea urchin have maintained their smaller dimensions. This tells us that although sea urchin as a whole are becoming bigger, it doesn’t mean that smaller sizes of sea urchin are dying out.

A notable setback of our research project was my sickness, which took me out of work and unable to complete much for a week. However, the help of Noel helped me finish my abstract for AGU, but more importantly, he helped Andrew and me finish our poster project. The overall process of peer editing, reworking, and then reviewing showed me the importance of always checking my work, because although mistakes kept coming, we were always able to correct them.

In the end, the Earth Young Investigators was an extremely valuable experience. Not only was I able to work in a prestigious university, but I could go on several field trips, go camping in Pinnacles, and explore the university. I loved this experience and will truly miss it.

My days in the lab have been occupied...

posted July 24, 2017

My days in the lab have been occupied by collecting data, attending presentations, and working on various assignments. Not only have I collected over 1800 rows of lepidoptera data with my partner, Andrew Lee, but I’ve also analyzed several scientific research papers with other interns in the biodiversity program.

In addition to all the work listed above, I am also working on a scientific research project with my project partner, Andrew. Our plan for the project is set in three parts. First, we plan to analyze a data set of sizes for sea urchins, or echinoidea, and create a histogram to see the range of sizes of echinoidea in terms of area, maximum length, and volume. For volume, some urchins do not have information, so we have used max length data and area data to approximate the volume. The second step of our project is to go to the IUCN Red List database, to find all species of endangered or extinct sea urchin. We will cross-check species that are impacted with the data of sea urchins we already have. Then, we will add another histogram of impacted sea urchins to the first histogram to see two sets of histogram data. Lastly, we will analyze the data and histograms to see if there is a correlation in size and impaction for sea urchins. If the histograms show that certain larger or smaller sizes tend to be impacted, we will conclude that impacted sea urchins of certain sizes tend to be selected for endangerment or extinction. To collect and analyze our data, we will use the program R. In December, I plan to attend the AGU conference in New Orleans. There, I will present the project I am working on with Andrew and show our findings.

About two weeks ago, the biodiversity group finished our overnight camping trip in Pinnacles National Park. I started the trip from the Winchester Transit Station, where I went into a Stanford van that proceeded to go to Greensfield, about one hundred miles from the station. Once we ate lunch in a small park in the town, we went to two fossil sites to collect various crab and shell samples. Afterwards, we went to Pinnacles, where we set up tents and proceeded to play Marco Polo in the swimming pool. For dinner, I helped prepare and cook fajitas for everyone. Later that night, a black light was set up to attract moths. While looking at several small creatures, I also took some night shots of the sky. The next morning, after packing up at the camp, we hiked to the top of the Pinnacles formation. Along the way, we observed various geological points of interest, like changes in types of rocks and minerals deposits found in rocks. At the top of the mountain, we had lunch and looked out to the San Andreas Fault. This marked the end of our trip, so we headed back home.


Soon this Thursday, all the Earth Young Investigators are going on a canoe trip in San Francisco Bay. I don’t know what I will see, but I am still excited for the trip. I really like canoeing and the weather will be great, so I know the experience will be wonderful.

My days in the lab have been filled with knowledge, fun, and memorable experiences...

posted July 06, 2017

My days in the lab have been filled with knowledge, fun, and memorable experiences. So far, the numerous lab meetings, the presentations, and the Capitola field trip have given me numerous opportunities to learn about new subjects. My most memorable experience was the Capitola field trip, where we explored New Brighton State Beach to see thousands of fossils found in hundreds of layers of rock in the cliffs. Later on, the sheer size of the whale skeletons gave an example of the biodiversity in the local marine environment, with variation in size from massive whales to much smaller clams. Another significant experience from the internship was going to Lake Lagunita to see the local wildlife and environment. Not only was I able to see various frogs and insects, but I was also able to meet various interns from the other groups of study, like geology and environment. I am full of anticipation for next week, when our biodiversity intern group will be camping at Pinnacles National Park. I hope to see many fossils during the trip and hopefully procure one for myself.