Yesterday we wrapped up the week with a trip to three rice lakes. On our way Chad discussed more on what a phytolith is. He explained phytoliths being very different from microfossils, and that he considers them more as microscopic plant remains. The first part of the week we practiced identifying phytoliths with light microscopes. And some of us were able to begin searching for phytoliths to use for our research. We studied phytoliths to the point we were having dreams about them. In the following weeks we will use these skills in our research.
We are going Minneapolis tomorrow for a week. I look forward to seeing the University of Minnesota campus and seeing what the other teams are working on. One of the challenges I think for next week is going to be the ‘elevator pitch’ of our research. I don’t know if it’s going to really happen but it’s something that I’m prepared to try.
Today I used the morning to continue work on the introduction to our research papers. I find that science writing is difficult, because you must use an active voice, keep things simple, and comprehend the context of other journals to include in your paper and be aware not to plagiarize.