Friday, April 2, 2010


Jennifer You might remember that last year I had some students in the month of March; my project was once again volunteered for the same class year, but this year I ended up splitting the teaching duties with the Austrian postdoc E. who is in the lake project. He wanted the teaching experience, but would be out of town for the second half of the project; meanwhile, I was unemployed for the time leading up to it, but was rehired just in time to take the over for the second half. His good idea was to take the students out to nearby Lake Ekoln and get a new sample, since all our samples are from the summer and we are interested in finding out how the bacterioplankton is different in the winter. I do enjoy a bit of fieldwork— haven't done any for ages now— so I was more than happy to tag along with the group for the trip to take the sample. Back on 1 March, E. drove us and a trunk-ful of equipment down to the northern tip of Lake Mäleran, a basin called Lake Ekoln. This is the lake which runs all the way to Stockholm, and is what they skate on when they do the Uppsala to Stockholm skate race. On March 1, winter was showing no signs of giving up yet— new snow, a strong wind, thick ice. It took about half an hour for us to drill a hole all the way through the ice (here's me taking my turn). Then the two students got out the water bottles, took their samples, and we went back to the lab where the went through the rest of the procedure for filtering the bacteria out. They were very proud and possessive of their samples, as they should have been, since they suffered wet feet in a blizzard in order to obtain them; the Chinese student, who has never experienced anything like this, was quite pleased with the whole experience.

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