Hey y’all! I can’t believe it’s been a month already! Time flies when you’re doing data analysis I suppose!
Well that’s not entirely true. So far there’s been very little analyses being done in my lab. I’ve basically just been copy and pasting hundreds of chronologies from the International Tree Ring Data Bank’s text files into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet so we can actually start analyzing. I anticipated this part of the process would take two weeks or so, but I was so very wrong. It’s been taking a lot longer.
However, after all this grunt work we’ll hopefully have at least a few chronologies that match up with the arc pattern particularly well. We really ought to; between Dr. Black and me, there are over 1200 chronologies transferred to Excel so far. I’m really excited to start analyzing all this data. Dr. Black says we’re pretty good on time so far, so I guess I was just over ambitious. To date, I have transferred chronologies from twelve states along the western half of the United States and am now planning on moving on to transferring chronologies from Canada and Mexico so we may have a particularly robust analysis. Of course this isn’t without a little online shopping in between spreadsheets; I’m only human after all. But my work has been getting done pretty efficiently and we’re on the right track it seems!
The lab work is a little dull (but it’s all meaningful work!), but my free time has been quite pleasant here in Port Aransas. The other students here are super easy to get along with and we’ve been spending our weekends exploring Port A and Texas in general. We’ve gone to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Six Flags in San Antonio, and of course the beach over the past month!
This past weekend has been one of my favorites so far; the REU students from Austin came down and we all went on the RV Katy and got a crash course in marine science techniques such as otter trawling, mud grabs, and plankton tows. I got to touch a lot of fish and we even caught a black fin shark! Being on the boat really reminded me the reason for my staying here in Port A; I just love the ocean and all its mysteries so much.