We are a group of freshwater ecologists from the Biology Department at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota traveling to Iceland this summer to study the effect of temperature on nitrogen fixation rates in geothermally active streams in the Hengill region of Iceland. We are collaborating with a group of scientists from the U.S. and Iceland in our research.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
One of the most rewarding experiences that I had this summer was the opportunity to design my own experiment and take charge of all of the details. Curiosity drives research, so I had to first ask myself, what am I curious about? After the course of a couple weeks in the field using three methods to measure nitrogen fixation, I asked myself, why can’t we use just one method, or what are the advantages and disadvantages of each method, and what can we understand better that will convince us of the accuracy of these methods? Then, I had to devise an array of field measurements using each of our methods that would provide some insight into where the discrepancies between the methods lies. The first day that I was in charge of the field team, I was running on adrenaline, not knowing what the results would reveal, or how the day would go.
Friday, September 6, 2013
|Thumbs up for science!|
|One of the final times working with these chambers. |
Oh, how I miss them!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
|When using 3 methods to |
estimate nitrogen fixation, time and
organization of the essence -
and I made sure to keep us on task.
|Here, Jill and I are adding 15N2 gas (contained in|
the small gray cylinder) to our chambers containing
algae from the different temperature treatments.
|It is definitely a coordinated team effort to get all of our|
various chambers set up and running - and in the rain!!
|It's working! Yes!|
So at the end of the day we had spent 10 hours in the field and we were exhausted, but excited to have completed an exceptionally successful day in the field. At the end of the day, I found it to be very satisfying to know that everything that we worked so hard on up to this day had paid off. And, just wait until you see the data - they are very exciting!! But, just like the journey of Harry Potter, not all can be revealed at once. You must wait until the full story unfolds...all in good time.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
|"Rock" Nostoc - Nostoc c.f. pruniforme|
|"Pink" Nostoc - Nostoc spongiaeforme|
Sunday, July 7, 2013
|We found algae!|
This summer we are planning to measure nitrogen fixation with three different approaches as a comparison of the methods, as well as to use them as a check against each other. For
|Chemical conversion of nitrogen fixation (left) and |
how it compares to acetylene reduction (right).
|Working on getting "the" number.|
So far, our research has been really frustrating, impossibly complicated, and infinitely
|Excited after a day in the field of |
hiking and looking at algae.