Life Post-SIGMAs

by erik.

With a week of the nutrient challenges behind us the TIDE Project’s crew steamed on into the weekend, under the direction of their fearless leader Kate.  Tank fills, acid washing, filtering, and canoe sampling were some of the many activities that continued on through the weekend and into the early portion of the week.


With things wrapping up quickly just as the week started several key events were of particular importance.  Sarah cried briefly as she packed up her SIGMAs for the last time, we gave our farewell to Amanda and Jo from Boston University, and Kate went into an apparent state of well-deserved hibernation after multiple weeks of work and little sleep.

Things are never quiet around here even with the lack of nutrient challenges so here’s what we’ve been up to.

The REUs/The Girls, Meghan and Ashley, started to work on a secret experiment in their lair of the barn. Or perhaps they are just trying to get their critters to enjoy some tasty Spartina patens.

The Plant People, Chris, Erik, and Ariella, started to measure Mud vs. Veg. in hopes of quantifying Sweeny’s apparent collapse of the creek bank and tall Spartina alterniflora.  Mid-week we were visited Scott, their PI, as well as Earl Davey and Cathy Wigand, from the E.P.A., to compare coring techniques and have some of our sediment cores CT scanned.

The Algae folks, Sam and Austin, worked to examine production of epiphytes and diatoms, and figure out what is going on in the shark infested marsh platform ponds…okay maybe they aren’t shark infested.

Thursday at noon was indeed time for another TIDE Power Hour of Cleaning in the barn and the lab.  No speck of dirt or misplaced item was safe from the hands of the TIDE people.

Head to head equipment washing challenges between Austin and Meghan was the main event in the lab.

Bench washing, floor sweeping, mopping, wiping, and reorganizing were also major events.

In the outdoor events, Austin dominated the beating of the rugs.

Chris won the mesh lift with approximately 25 square meters of mesh.

Ariella and David both had strong showings in the recycling events and were able to crush some cardboard along the way.

Additionally, there was a tie in the “Sharing is Caring” award between David and Sarah, for their work in the “Marking Sketchy Batteries”, and Erik and Chris, for their work in “Could you hand me that board?”.

Every surface was sparkling.

To round out the day the TIDE Project donated some wooden pallets to the greater Plum Island Community.

[Note: Sam was not included in the donation]

After all of the hard work during the nutrient challenges, the cleaning extravaganza, and the regular work of the week, we all decided to take Friday to join in some TIDE Project bonding as we drove up to the Franconia Notch Region and climbed Mt. Liberty.

A good time was had by all.

Tune in next weeks for updates on the All Scientists Meeting, the continued saga of the REUs Amphipod lair, and what Sarah is doing in life post-SIGMAs.

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