week 2: experimental set up!

This past week Shaunna and I spent a lot of time setting up out first experiment to test the salinity tolerance of Cladophora sp…this is much easier said than done! Science involves a lot of tinkering sometimes. Shaunna writes more about it in this week’s blog post:

I am nearing the end of my second week of working here in the lab at the University and it has certainly gotten quite busy compared to last week. Dr. Carlile had to leave town halfway through the week to attend a conference, so it was important for me to understand and be prepared for all aspects of our experiment before she left…and boy are there a lot of them. I won’t go into detail about all of the things we did this week but trust me when I say we got a lot accomplished. The difficult part of this week was making sure I felt comfortable while Dr. Carlile was gone to run the experiment myself. Making sure I understand every aspect of it takes a lot longer than you would imagine, so we took advantage of every second to prepare myself and I would say Dr. Carlile did a great job in doing so. I don’t think people realize how technical and detailed setting up a science experiment can actually be; and as a science major I can honestly say I didn’t fully understand it until this week when I experienced it first hand with our experimental design. After much debating and changing our minds we decided on a final set up for our experimental design; this including 18 flasks with air tubes to each one and it was quite the ordeal to set up. There are so many flasks because we chose to have three treatments of salinities (0ppt, 15ppt, 35ppt) with six replicates of each. These replicates will allow the data we collect to be more statistically reliable, which is important. After collecting the algae yesterday and creating the different saline solutions I was able to get the experiment in full swing this afternoon!! Now for the exciting part of the project…the data collection.

our experimental set up for testing salinity tolerance

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