Hello again! It’s hard to believe that I am already halfway through the program. I’ve gotten to experience so many fun things down here in Texas and the research feels like it is flying by. So far the other REU students and I have gotten to go to lots of awesome restaurants, Six Flags in San Antonio, the Texas State Aquarium, and we got to have a bonfire and go on the RV KATY with the REU students from UT @ Austin last weekend to do some sampling. I absolutely love how much fresh seafood I get to eat here since I’m from Ohio and I don’t get to enjoy it very often. I’m getting pretty close with the other REU students and they’re starting to feel like a family away from home.
My research project seems to be going pretty well. We’ve gone on one official sampling trip on the Aransas River to collect samples for flow cytometry, microscopy, chlorophyll and phycobilin analysis. The trip went great aside from some spiders that took the boat captive on the way to the first sampling site. We also got to see two alligators along the bank, which was awesome because I have never seen them in the wild. We’ve been able to process the first round of samples and we’re working through the data right now. I get to go sampling again next week and I’m excited to see what we find so I can compare the data from both trips. I really enjoy my research and I feel like I have already learned so much this summer.