Lab work this summer has been lots of fun, it’s also been flying by! I feel like I’ve only just arrived but here it is, the last week to get some work done. Just a few days ago Monica and I had the opportunity to go and collect samples locally from the Vermillion river. While not as exciting as a trip to China, it was definitely a fun experience. Before we could go, Monica and I had to round up the supplies from the many different rooms Geology holds within Carnegie and Severance. Those supplies included several sieves and buckets, a fair few sample bags, a large spoon to collect the sample from the river and a handful of spoons to move the sediment from the sieve into the bags (super scientific, I know!) Some people who are more critical of their terrain may look at the photos and say that we were not in a river as much as we were in a drainage ditch on the side of the road; I would say to those people, you’re right, but where’s the fun in that? We can nitpick the topographical features of the beautiful state of Ohio all we want but a day that has field work in it is a good day.
Monica here, with an update on the sediment we collected. Unlike Marcus I had a bit of a rougher time, as I was the one sacrificed to ride in the trunk with the sieves and freshly-collected samples. After much labor and help/interference from Amanda’s children we managed to collect the samples we needed from the river to be used further on our leaching adventures. They were collected as part of a project that I’ve been working on to determine the right ratio of Acid to Sample for leaching. Unfortunately the previous sample I leached was not collected recently enough so the fallout radio nucleotide Be-7 dissipated. By quickly leaching this sample we should be able to get the data were missing out on. They are currently in the oven, evaporating off the ditch-water and getting ready to be stripped in acid.
To make the field photos more enjoyable, we included some Gerber-baby level cuteness toddlers (Amanda’s children), who accompanied us into the field. Photo credit to Amanda’s wonderful au pair, Jenny. Enjoy!