September 23, 2018
After I took a summer break to visit my family in Thailand, I am ready for the next step of my academic journey. I am now a first-year Ph.D. student at Washington University in St. Louis. I will be studying on how past climate and ecology had shaped living conditions for pre-Hispanic people of Peruvian High Andes. What are the relationships among climate, hydrology, and ecological properties there? In order to answer those questions, I will analyze Peruvian lake sediments using different kinds of proxies.
I came back to the states about a month before the school starts to meet my Ph.D. advisor and prepare myself before heading to Peru with her. Unfortunately, I was sick from some mosquito-borne disease (most likely Chikungunya), and this prevented me to join her Peru trip this year. Anyway, before my advisor left to Peru, our lab group went to Tyson Research Center, Missouri to test all equipment she would use in Peru. Also, this place has many lakes, so we can practice coring sediments on a boat.
Bronwen (my advisor), Jack (lab manager), Ben (undergrad RA), and I arrived at Tyson Research Center at 10 AM. We met a manager there, and she took us to the targeted lake. We assembled the boat and tested the equipment. Bronwen showed us how to use a gravity corer. We all tried to take the sediment core from the boat—definitely not an easy task.
Me with two cores. The longer one isn’t mine though.
Bronwen and Ben (and his precious core).
After we took the cores, we also tried to extrude or slide the cores so that we can pack in small bags.
They were surly having fun.
Although we won’t be able to use these lake sediments in our project, this experience was memorable as it was the first time for our lab group to accomplish something together. I hope we would go out in the field and do something together like this in the future, but probably not this place because we got tick bombs too many times!