We started the day counting coliforms and E. Coli, but then we got to go on an adventure. We first went to Pana, where we stopped at a coffee shop called Café Loco and it’s our professor’s favorite place anywhere in the world to get coffee (and she’s been to a lot of places). After coffee, we took a boat across the lake to a large town called Santiago. In Santiago Jenise took us to this large market; merchants were lining the floor and stairs trying to sell things. It reminded me a little of the Japanese markets but this was even more crowded. Santiago is famous for their paintings, so we went to a few different art stores. Unfortunately, they don’t let you take photos in them so I don’t have any of the paintings. After a couple of hours in Santiago we took a boat back to Pana and had pupusas for lunch. It was interesting because every single bar, restaurant, and shop that had a tv was playing the Germany vs Italy soccer game. If you were outside during the penalty kicks you could hear people screaming throughout the town if someone made a goal. It was so cool seeing how unified everyone is when it comes to soccer like that.
When we got back to the house, we made different calculations with the phosphorus absorbance readings and found the concentration of phosphate in each sample from the bins of the mesocosms. These calculations told us which type of plant took up phosphate the most efficiently. There is a small problem though, because the amount of phosphate each plant took up didn’t make sense when you compare it to how much mass they would need to grow compared to how much phosphate our readings said. Its an interesting problem and our professors were just as stumped as we were. I find it really fun actually.
Anyway, we are all waking up at 2am tomorrow to measure the amount of carbon dioxide the plants in the mesocosms are releasing during respiration in the night time, so I’m going to end the blog here.