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Weber Wong

A Summer Well Spent

posted August 07, 2015

It’s hard to believe this internship is over already. The last few weeks passed by really quickly; I suppose there’s truth to the saying that time flies when you’re having fun.

We went on a camping trip to Pinnacles National Park a couple weeks ago, and it was very enjoyable. We stopped on the side of the road and looked for fossilized crabs and shells, which was pretty cool. Overall, it was a lot of fun bonding with the other interns throughout the overnight trip.

My partner Frank and I finished up our project, and made a poster to present our findings. We found that there was an inverse relationship between temperature and marine animal body size, and also between CO2 and marine animal body size. Conducting original research was very interesting, and presenting our results was very rewarding. We will be further researching the relationship between abiotic factors and marine animal body size after the internship.

Overall, it’s been a great experience interning at the Stanford School of Earth Sciences. I want to thank Noel for being a great supervisor, Jenny for organizing the program, and John Payne for having us.

And thanks to all the interns for being awesome!

Getting into the Rhythm of Things

posted July 15, 2015

We have now gotten acquainted to data collection and discussing scientific papers, making the two activities more worthwhile and more fun. Noel has also introduced us to Ediacarans, which are thought to be the first complex multicellular organisms; we have begun to conduct data collection on them.

A new development is our research projects. I chose Frank Wang as my research project partner, and we have chosen to examine the impact of abiotic factors such as oxygen concentration, carbon dioxide concentration, and temperature on body size. To isolate the abiotic factors that have a significant impact on body size, we are using the program “R” to create graphs. We hope to find a correlation between an abiotic factor and body size, and if we do find a correlation, we will create an equation that characterizes this relationship.

Our research project is currently our main focus, but we still enjoy a good share of healthy distractions. We recently visited the cactus farm on campus, and also the mausoleum of Leland, Leland Jr., and Jane Stanford. Next week, we will be camping at Pinnacles National Park, which should be very fun. And of course, the daily lunch breaks are refreshing: interacting with the other interns is a great way to relax and recharge.

In summary, the internship is proving to be just as interesting, educational, and exhilarating as I was hoping.

The first two weeks have gone by swimmingly!

posted July 02, 2015

The first two weeks have gone by swimmingly! We've started off by collecting data about prokaryotes. Specifically, we've recorded body size, details about their environments, and their metabolisms. Through data collection, I've learned a ton about bacteria.

In addition to data collection, we've also studied rocks and discussed science research papers. Noel provides us with ample opportunity to present our thoughts and findings. This has allowed all the interns to share their perspectives on various topics, all the while learning more about evolution and earth science.

But the activities of the internship aren't all indoors. Megan took us to the Hoover tower, and we were able to get a bird’s eye view of the entire campus. We also went on a field trip to New Brighton and Pomponio Beach to observe fossils and rock formations in the cliff faces. We were able to closely analyze fossils and learn more about the relationship between geology and evolution. Also, I was able to enjoy a long walk on the beach, one of my favorite activities.

All in all, the internship has gotten off to a great start; but from what I've heard from the veteran interns, its about to get even better.