Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Down in the Hole!

Woods Hole craziness has taken over my life the past few months, my apologies for the failure to continue blogging! I have been working as a TA for the Semester in Environmental Science (SES) course for undergraduates at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass since this past September. The course is a rigors program designed to provide hands on experience for undergraduates in Ecosystem Science. The course starts with 10-weeks of course work and labs which covers a variety of topics in Environmental science of both both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Two weeks ago, the students completed the classwork component of the semester and they began their independent projects. With only 3 weeks to go before their final presentations, they have been working hard in both the lab and the field to complete projects of their own invention. My co-worker Will and I have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to manage the 16 students, each working on a different project. Imagine fish in a bowl all jiving for attention to be fed...

We have some pretty interesting work going on around here however. Pam's project involves the effect of detritavore diversity on the degradation of detritus. She has created 48 microcosms composed of different combinations of detritavores, detritus, and nutrient concentrations. She is examining the changes in detritus biomass, CHN composition, and grain size distribution (aka communition) before and after her incubation period. More importantly: her critters are really cute. To the right is a pic of a pair of amphipods: