Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Part 1 complete!

Huzzah! I have finished my poster for my ESYS symposium that is tomorrow night. I do believe that I spent as much time on the alignment of my text boxes and figures as I did with the content But the result of that is a poster that I am very satisfied with aesthetically!

I have to say though, it was difficult to figure out how to get this plotted...and I went through a somewhat complicated process of converting files, printing to two different printers (one to get the print preview/quote and one to print), and then making more minute changes to my poster. However, thank you Academic Computing Services for offering this service at a price 4 times cheaper than what Imprints offers its students. Now all that's left to do is to go through the rest of the graphs that Lizzie sent me for my paper and work on that, after I get through my poster presentation of course. I'm excited to see what my fellow ESYS classmates have been working on for their internship these past 2 quarters as well.

 ::post-ESYS symposium 5.27.2011::

It was great seeing everyone's posters! Everyone was dressed up very nicely as well and had good presentations of their internships, which varied from educational outreach programs to specified scientific research topics. All in all, I think the symposium went well, especially since there were many community members, alums, and other faculty and staff members that came to see everyone's internship work.
Lizzie insisted I present my poster, so here I am!
We also had a few former ESYS alumni come and speak at the reception and gave recognition to the faculty and staff that work behind the scenes and helps make the ESYS program work smoothly. The ESYS symposium concluded with a class of 2011 picture (which I've yet to receive), and it was quite sad for a few moments as we all stood there together thinking about the culmination of our project and our years at UCSD. I, for one, am glad that I came into the university with this major, not knowing what it was but leaving the school very satisfied at the road I've taken these past 4 years. Only a few more days to go!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view

It has taken about 2.5 months, but at long last, all vacuum sampled and frozen arthropods from Lizzie’s collection have been processed! There are a few minor tasks that I have left to do with them, such as comparing vouchers, but that will most likely be done in a short bit. 

Now, to say that I didn’t recognize the arthropods until more than halfway through the samples is an understatement. I had to re-familiarize myself at each sorting session what the types of arthropod were, and that in itself took a long time to become acquainted with. After many sessions of bug identification frustration, I finally decided that I was going to go and capture these bugs on camera and store them on my laptop when I sort through the rest of the samples. Here are a few pictures of some of the arthropods I caught on camera:
This is a one of a kind bug I found in the samples, though I'm not really sure what it is.
This is one of the many auchenorrhynchas (what a mouthful) that I saw while sorting. What a beauty.
There were many flies in the samples, this one I labeled as 'diptrs' for red stripes.
This one is my favorite since it reminds me of the alien from the movie, 'Aliens'.
I made note to take pictures of them from as many sides as possible, since I couldn’t be sure whether or not if a single picture was enough to help me identify future samples. As it is, I feel like my pictures, which made identifying arthropods much easier later on, are not as clear as they could be since they do not capture all the details on the insect bodies. I would also have trouble with the light on the microscope and in how I centered the camera lens on the microscope lens, since it required multiple minute tweakings of both camera and microscope lenses. I ended up zooming my camera lens to the max and the microscope to 3x the magnification and then centering the camera lens on the microscope lens before I found a middle point where I was satisfied with the quality of the photos.

But doing so did help me match up bugs closely, or at least, better than I did before. Now that Lizzie is back, and brought with her her vouchers of these little guys, I can match up my vouchers with hers and see how to better create a system for identification. Ta da!

Happy Friday everyone, and happy Sun God!