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Trisha Jani

8 weeks flew by so quickly!

posted Sep 04, 2013

Our last few days together were great. We submitted our AGU abstracts and printed out our posters which we will present at AGU in December. Listening to presentations from the general program was great because I got to learn about all of the other cool earth science research students were doing. It was interesting to see what results they got, since we had toured their labs and were a little familiar with what their research encapsulated.

Overall, my summer experience at Stanford has been fantastic, with the best part being all the new people I got to meet. The internship gave me the opportunity to interact with many people who are a passionate for the field of paleobiology. I also got to meet new high school students from all over the Bay Area through the program, and I met old friends (hi Advaita!) simply by being on the Stanford campus.

I can't wait to reconvene at AGU in December!

Environmental impact on evolution of Crinoid body size

posted July 29, 2013

I can't believe that there are less than two more weeks left in this internship! These past few weeks have been packed. I still continue to collect ostracod data every morning, and in the afternoons I work on my individual project. For my project, I am interested in seeing the effect of environmental factors (CO2, 02, sea level, latitude) on the evolution of crinoid body size in between mass extinctions. Using the statistical program R, I have made several graphs to see if there is any correlation. I am also using the PaleoTS package to see whether the trends are unbiased random walk, stasis, or a driven trend. Most of the trends seem to be unbiased random walk or stasis, which is a little disappointing, but I guess that's how science is. I hope to get more results as this week goes on. I will also be working on submitting my abstract and getting my poster ready for AGU.

Last Wednesday, we visited UC Berkeley for a field trip, which was really fun. I have never been to the campus, so it was exciting to visit for the first time. Upon arriving, we helped sort and assemble small kits of fossils for educators to use. We then toured the museum, which is simply gigantic. After a long lunch break where I got to explore the area around the campus, we visited the Berkeley stadium, which stands on top of the Hayward fault. We could see cracks along the sides of the stadium, which arose as a result of fault activity. Lastly, we visited a creek bed, and were once again able to see the effects of fault activity on the path of the creek. I'm definitely looking forward to our next field trip, which is going to be at another creek bed!


Data Collection

posted July 08, 2013

The History of Life internship is in full swing! One of the major things we are working on right now is data collection. We have finished measuring body sizes of echinoderms and have moved on to ostracods, which are arthropods. I am staring my second volume. I can't wait to use all of this data in my individual project, which we should get started on this week.

I can definitely say that Wednesdays are my most favorite day because of the speakers during lunch. During these lectures, I am exposed to a wide variety of topics, such as soil and mineral science, carbon sequestration, and plankton in the arctic. I particularly enjoyed the talk on carbon sequestration, in part because it was a completely new topic to me.

This past Tuesday was very fun because of our field trip to not one but two beaches! We first visited New Brighton beach, where we studied the outcrop, fossils, and rocks. It was amazed to find so many different animal fossils on a single rock. We even found large imprint fossils of a marine mammal. On the outcrop, we noticed a difference in rock layers, suggesting a shift of plates. We also saw large isopods, which scared me! At our second destination, Pebble Beach, we we able to explore the flora and fauna of tide pools. To me, these were pretty similar to the pools at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz. The small hermit crabs and turban snails were so cute! Here are some pictures from the beaches.