The ALES (Acoustic Laboratory for Ecological Studies) research group at Stony Brook University focuses on the use of acoustic methods to study ecological processes in the marine environment. Much of our research involves zooplankton (tiny animals) and their role in the ecosystem in a variety of ocean environments.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
31 July 2012 - Titration Playlist
I am the titration
master, there is no question about it, my skills are said to even
rival those of the almighty Joe. Totally kidding… but my titration
skills have drastically improved since the beginning of this cruise!
I believe the last time I ever titrated something before this
cruise/internship was in chemistry 101 my freshman year of college...
needless to say it took a little bit for me to get back into the
swing of things, and the way we titrate materials is COMPLETELY
different to titration in chemistry 101. We start out with the
titration apparatus; which consists of two/three burets depending on
what is needed for the titration, two beakers, tweezers, a stirring
rod, a white background, a ruler, and a camera. We then fill the
burets with sea water and a 50/50 sea water/glycerin mix. If the
organisms are alive, we have to anesthetize them, and we do this by a
beaker full of sea water and half an alkaseltzer tablet. This knocks
them right out (with one exception…see below)! The glycerin used is
denser than the sea water and by combining the two by the right
amount we can make different organisms suspend neutrally buoyant in
the mix. This is then used to somehow find the density of the
organism… I have yet to truly figure out how that works but that’s
for another time, for now more on titration.
So, now that you
have an idea about titration, I will tell you which organisms you
should avoid at all costs because they will literally leave you in
the fetal position in a corner…
This is during the crab zoea titration, Kaylyn had to come to the rescue.
These organisms are
in order from fetal position in a corner to OH MY GOSH I LOVE THESE
THEY ARE SO COOPERATIVE:
Crab Zoea (Baby
Crabs) – these guys can survive the apocalypse I swear… two
alka-seltzer tablets later they were still zooming around the beaker…
Fish Larvae –
require freshwater and sometimes their swim bladder popped… I
didn’t realize this until probably an hour and a headache into the
Fish Parts - these
are messy and smell and sometimes uncooperative
they remind me of tapeworms and I have nightmares about them
AKA the invisible organism…
Squid – They are
super cute but temperamental
Shrimp – They are
not half bad
Krill – currently
my favourite because they all seem to have the same density
Amphipods – I
haven’t titrated too many of these, but they are FREAKING COOL
So that’s my list
from extreme hatred to love to titrate!
business isn’t all fun and games of course; it definitely takes a
toll on you! We have the lucky bucket which we plant ourselves on to
achieve desired height off the ground, but this is not enough, and we
are forced to extend our arms up in the air to reach the table, and
last night (or morning since I’m now nocturnal) I woke up from a
titration dream and my arms were extended above my head in the
perfect titration position!
Kaylyn in perfect titration position.
I have titrated
over 220 organisms to neutral buoyancy on this trip so far and we are
only a week in! My goal is to titrate 500 organisms or more on this
cruise. Well I have to go work on that! Later Gator!