Move over gentlemen, the ladies are doing science

Jennifer AppleJennifer Apple

Day three of sampling and we are getting the rhythm down. Helped it was an absolutely gorgeous morning without wind or rain. Doesn’t get any better on the dock with the sun coming up over the water, eagles flying overhead & everyone working together to lift, mix, and fill our sample containers. Looking around it struck me how awesome it was that the majority of our ocean acidification team is all women. We’ve got great guys doing science with us too, but how cool is it most of my benchmates, TA’s and several professors are all lady scientists?

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Science girls

We hear a lot about girls being behind boys in the STEM disciplines and the bias against papers by female scientists getting published and on and on – what makes our team so different? Amy tells me she has never felt any discrimination against her choice of science as a major. Good for her! Natsuko talks about how supportive her family is of her choices in schooling. Well, played mom and dad! I know if I had not had a great mentor I never would have challenged myself to tackle the requirements for a biology undergraduate degree. Whatever the reason, we have all come together to do research at FHL.

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Bringing my samples back to the lab to filter

I love how we are all working together and helping one another with sampling and laughing together as we work. I’ve included a few photos so you can get a feel for our bench space. Natsuko filters for her project in the morning and then spends the afternoon in another building. Daneil runs her protocols every other day and looks quite smart in her lab coat while she is doing it! Kiely alternates between determining biological silica levels and prepping samples to view with the SEM. Amy gets the prime location by the window to use the microscope for counting organisms and Kelly is working on her dilution experiment down on the dock and in the lab. Me? I have my corner of the lab and am there every day. I start in the morning by filtering for DOC and POC and fixing samples for the flow cytometry to be done in Dr. Morris’ lab at the UW. The sample bottles are kept on ice and I work as quickly as possible taking about 5 to 6 hours to make it all the way through filtering a liter of mesocosm water to be used for DNA analysis. Meanwhile, Amanda is in lab 12 processing the morning’s samples and Kelsey is everywhere helping out with all the millions of things which need doing all at once. You know, we have an incredible group. Glad I am a member.

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