We are a group of freshwater ecologists from the Biology Department at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota studying the effect of temperature and nutrient availability on metabolism and nitrogen fixation in geothermally active streams in the Hengill region of Iceland. This is a collaborative research effort with our partners from Montana State University, the University of Alabama, the University of Iceland, and the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries in Iceland. See links to our collaborators labs below.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Figures are meant to be clean, simple, precise, and minimalist. However, readers often forget to acknowledge the hundreds of hours required to produce that single figure. A figure is not just created, it is a culmination of intense work. At the end of this summer when we start analyzing our samples and datasets, it will be satisfying to see all our efforts displayed as a figure. But, it will be just as astonishing that all our work can and will be portrayed in a few figures. Each data point will be the product of a team of people who dedicated hours to acquire that single number.
For example, when determining nitrogen fixation rates we need to travel to Hengill, carry our field gear to the sampling site, set up our incubations, collect and preserve our samples, analyze our samples, process the data, and finally produce a figure. Each of these steps requires lots of time and effort, all for a single data point. Now multiply that work load by adding other components of the core project as well as other side projects and the to do list becomes endless. As we work day in and day out and continue to push on every day it reminds me to applaud the scientists before me and truly appreciate what they have done.
We are relentless workers. Our work hours are not bound by 9 to 5, 40 hour weeks, but rather by how long our bodies are capable of persisting. Although we may want to yell into the sky in frustration or collapse from exhaustion, we do it because we love it. We strive to explore and explain the unknown and to do that we work tirelessly for that data point.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
|I love working in Hengill!|
|Samples of cyanobacteria|
Sunday, July 23, 2017
The perfect scoop of Nostoc!
An ARA balloon inflated just right!
Perfect parallel tape of a scintillation vial!
A good standard curve on the first try!
No algae in the MIMS samples!
Field chocolate ... field chocolate
The wind that blows away all the bugs!
1000 mL measured in a single pour!
The little sheep watching from the hill.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
|The view outside of our lab.|
|The mural on the side of the lab.|
|Look at all the filters and tins!|
Thursday, April 6, 2017
|Measuring nitrogen fixation on a rainy day|
|Working at the channels|