Weekly WISE #2

Welcome back! This is the second week of the 2022 Student Summer Employment Program. This week, participants received a tour of the NRC building. More information on this week’s events can be found at the 2022 SSEP Program Highlights. This week, have three reflections written by Madison, Jasmine, and Jenna. Enjoy!

Madison Y, Marine Interpreter

Hello! My name is Madison– and I’ve just finished my second week of the Student Summer Employment Program with WISE. I work as a Marine Interpreter at the Ocean Science Center in Logy Bay. There, I am responsible for many aspects of seal and animal husbandry, along with educating the public about the animals that live in our oceans. I’ve spent the last two weeks expanding my knowledge on the species kept at the Ocean Science Center, especially those kept in the touch tank. This is so I can help teach others about some of the cool animals we have. From Sea Stars to Spider Crabs to Sand Dollars and more, I’ve learned so much information about marine life while working here! A typical day for me can consist of many little tasks, prepping food, cleaning, teaching at the touch tank, more cleaning, and spending time with our resident seals. My days are very busy, and it’s rare that I don’t have anything to do! We have two seals that I’ve gotten the pleasure to spend lots of time with in the past two weeks, their names are Tyler (aged 32) and Deane (aged 20). It’s been amazing to be a part their training and daily care. They have so much personality that I’m eager to see more of throughout my summer here! My work environment is great, all of my colleagues are extremely well-versed in their fields and happy to share cool facts and stories with me. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to learn more from them this summer. Overall, this has been an amazing experience so far. I adore every part of working as a Marine Interpreter and I’m so thankful for this opportunity! 

Jasmine B, Atlantic Puffin Research Assistant

This week I had a fantastic introduction to field work as an Atlantic Puffin Research Assistant. I had the pleasure of going on a day trip to Great Island, and it was incredible. It began with putting on these massive survival suits, and motoring to the island. Once we arrived at the island, all I could see were puffins and their burrows. Thousands upon thousands, as far as the eye could see, there were just so many puffins! On Great Island, I learned how to use a burrow-scope, and I was able to see inside the puffin burrows. With this camera I saw puffins, eggs, and the cutest little pufflings! Unfortunately I had to leave this wonderful island at the end of the day, but on our way back I saw two whales which was also really cool. Overall, it was an extraordinary trip, and was by far one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I can’t wait to go out again.

Jenna B, Chemistry Research Assistant

I have spent most of my time getting to know the people I’m working with and many of the machines in the lab. I also was sent a paper about graphene, the strongest material measured written by Andre Geim. The rest of the week I started doing labs for the first time. My first lab I was working with Zahra and Nadia. We were using chemicals like Hexane and methanol to separate a material. They showed me how to test if a material is pure or impure by using TLC plates. They then showed me how to use the Cary UV machine and let me check polymer, GO-PMF and other materials with it. The next day I started a 3-day long lab with Monther. We took 2,7-DHAQ and K2CO3 and added it to flask while surrounded in acetone under N2 atom with gentle reflux. We dissolved DMS in acetone and added it dropwise with a dropping funnel. The next day we continued the lab and I filtered and washed the mix by myself, using CH2Cl2. The solvent evaporated and the rest suspended in methanol and cooled in freezer. Then washed again. We refluxed this overnight after adding 23g of Zn , 30g of NaOH, 100ml H2O and 100ml of ethyl alcohol. I learned a lot this week, and learned how to use almost all of the machines in the lab. It all sounds pretty complicated but it’s easy to get used too and I love coming here everyday!

Weekly WISE #2
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