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.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Getting Settled In & Set Up

Hello! I’m Marie and I am a St. Catherine’s undergraduate student starting my junior year this fall. I am new to the Iceland team, and this is my first research position. I’m sure I will have a lot of new and challenging experiences this summer. So far, we have been doing a lot of preparation for the field and getting the lab set up for our work. The lab we are working in now is different than the one last summer, so we have been trying to figure out where our equipment can go (and we have a lot of stuff!). We are finding space for the gas chromatograph which is challenging because the people we are working with are getting set up as well (they just moved too!) The lab is in the heart of Reykjavik, right across from the Harpa, and there is a huge mural of a fisherman on the side of the building.
The view outside of our lab.
The mural on the side of the lab.
We have been weighing a lot of filter papers and tins, which should make our lives easier later in the summer. To do that, we had to set up the scale, which was a good learning experience for me as I had never done that before. We have weighed over 600 filters and 200 tins so far, and we will need to weigh more before the summer is over!
Look at all the filters and tins!
Annette and I also worked on repairing the fans. We have magnets attached to the fans so that when they spin they rotate a stir bar in a chamber to mix the contents continually. The silicone sealant we used was from last summer, so we had to battle to get the tip cleared, but we did it! A lot of what we have been doing so far is setting the foundation for the rest of the summer, so while pictures of what we are doing now may not be as stunning as field photos, it is important work.