Today was mostly a recovery day, at least for me. I had a bad night’s rest last night, so I was really tired today and took a nap in the afternoon. Regardless of that, we still did a lot. We counted E. Coli in the plates after breakfast this morning, then we learned how to pipet for plating the day 3 set. After that, we had a lecture on soils, which was actually pretty interesting. Robert has taken a soils class (Soils 100) in Davis, so he told me about some of the labs that they did; I am thinking of taking it at some point. Phillip and I made lunch today for everyone. We threw together a bunch of veggies, noodles, eggs, and spices and it actually turned out pretty good! It’s hard being new to cooking and cooking for 7 people at the same time. I’m glad I am getting the practice now though because it will be useful when I’m living in the apartment. After lunch we had a small lecture on nitrogen transformation but Eliska cut it a little short because she noticed we were all pretty out of it. In the afternoon, when I took my nap, Robert, Sarah, and Vanessa went to Pana.
As a requirement for class, we have to write a proposal for some type of project related to the Atitlan area. I have been trying to decide between a project on some sort of community education on the lake or find some sort of scientific project to do. I am leaning towards a more scientific project, but I am unsure of what it can be. A community education project would be good though, because I feel that the communities around the lake can still use more education about the lake and what is happening to it. The more people that know about the eutrophication of the lake and what is causing it, the more people can have the knowledge to take measures to try and help prevent it. It would be difficult in my opinion, to figure out a larger project that can work with all the different communities here that would actually make an impact would be really difficult. We have learned about a few different community education projects and many other improvement projects that NGO’s have done, but they haven’t always had a lasting impact. If my proposal is for an education project, I want it to potentially have a lasting impact.
Tomorrow we are going to go out on the lake again and from my understanding we are going to sample the water. I started recording data from the water chemistry readings in the mesocosms and these samples may get put in there as well. We have to get out early again so we don’t get caught in rough waters.