Week 3: 6/22/09 - 6/26/09
This week was basically a frantic struggle to get back on schedule. I was told that this week was going to be like this (the longest week of my life). Monday and Friday were not so bad, though. I started out the week and leisurely started reviewing the massive stack of scientific journals on my desk. I later learned that I should not have been as leisurely as I needed to finish that massive stack by the next day. I did get to add to my list of definitions of scientific definitions that have a relevance to the project, so that was a positive, right?
Tuesday was much like Monday, except so much longer. Though I am becoming a lot more skilled at skimming over articles. Which, by the way is a concept TOTALLY foreign to my field of study. I could never imagine skimming over a proof for abstract.
I then had to go back over all of the papers and pick through their variables to see connections to what would be relevant to what we were doing. This was actually pretty cool and the week did indeed start to pick up from there. I have something ridiculous like three pages of variables to review for possible relevance. Luckily, most of the relevant information was concentrated in one of the most recent papers. They even included graphs of their data so that I could see general trends.
I was on a roll, and then it was time to go to my first Tribal Law class. This was informative, but eee gads I was really finding my groove with my work. The class consisted mostly of us watching a series of interviews of Native American leaders. I ended the day by reviewing all of the variables and trends that I found with my mentor. It was good to talk about it and get a better understanding of the data that we should be expecting.
Thursday was also packed (awesome week, huh?). I had an event for Friday so all of my work for the week had to be done by Thursday. This involved me putting all of the information that I found and making it a word document and a PowerPoint. This information included the project description, the point of this summer, previous work done and our next step in the study. I was a little nervous about the PowerPoint because I haven't used PowerPoint since high school. I felt good to finally have everything done though at the end of the day.
Friday was a nice break (granted I didn't get any sleep the night before so I was pretty exhausted for the entire thing). The cool thing about that was that even though I was RIDICULOUSLY irritable, the trip was still a lot of fun. We all met at the campus and discovered that one of our interns was "misplaced". Awesome.
We started out the trip by going to a place that looked out over the Columbia River. I think that it had some historical significance, but am not certain. There was a building made of stone that had a little gallery and had roof access so that you could really see the full view.
After that we took a hike on a trail that was known for its waterfall. The hike was pretty cool (though it did lose some points for being paved). The trail zigzagged up the mountain and then ended at the top of the water fall. It was really beautiful. In fact, here is a photo of some of the girls from the internship when we were all at the top.
We then drove to a hatchery (?). Though I missed most of this napping in the sun. I am a bit bummed that I missed seeing the gigantic sturgeon, but it happens I suppose. Oddly hearing about the sturgeon made me miss home (though I haven't lived at home for a couple of years now. There is one really well known spot on the Sacramento River called the Virgin Sturgeon that all of the really sleazy boater would stop at for a drink (go figure).
The trip concluded with taking a tour of the dam where I learned two things.
1. Dams use huge turbines (though now that I think of it, I'm not sure if that is what the big blade was called)
2. Counting fish is a real job
So, my big lesson of the week: ensure that whatever career path I follow does not involve counting fish and I'll be golden ; )