Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 2

Our second week as interns participating in the Microfossils project has officially come to a close. I think we can all agree that time seems to be flying by. Whether this is because of the amazing experts we have had the chance to work with so far, or the awe-inspiring experience of working behind the scenes at the museum—I guess we’ll never know. After receiving our projects during the first week and learning all about what was expected of us, I think we all assumed it was going to be a plug and chug task. We would just rehouse, database, photograph and edit. We all know what they say about people who assume. The truth is, not everything has gone smoothly. There have been slides with unidentified specimens, specimens that have disappeared, and images that would just not come out clear (just to name a few). You would think that with every mystery slide, missing specimen and blurry picture, that this would be frustrating and honestly… sometimes it is, but we all understand the importance of what we’re trying to do and that keeps us moving forward and inspires us to keep learning. One thing that is extremely important for this project is accuracy and the best way to be accurate is to understand exactly what it is that we are doing. Having Dr. Ellen Thomas come in and explain to us the importance of Foraminifera and Ostracods has helped put this project into context. Now when I look under the microscope I don’t just see a shiny little shell, but a small yet complex organism that serves as our window into the climate of the past. With Ellen’s enthusiasm for the topic, it makes it hard not to grow an honest interest in the subject. We are all truly lucky to have her on board. So far, this internship has been one of the greatest experiences that we’ll ever have and we look forward to seeing what lies ahead in the coming weeks! - Beth Gerstner

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