Beyond the Rhizons: Week 2

This week the Zaaga’igan team and I have become familiar with some methods and processes in the lab and have solidified our research questions. I will be focusing on how sulfates and iron affect algal blooms in water in which manoomin (wild rice) grows. To measure the chemical composition of the water, we take water samples using devices called peepers and rhizons. Peepers are plastic chambers that have 4 wells that capture water through filter paper. 3 of the wells are placed in the sediment and 1 is in the surface water of the experimental tanks at the research farm. Rhizons are similar to straws in that they suck up pore water (water in between sediment grains) into vacuumed glass bottles which create negative pressure.

This week this member of the columbidae family has caused a lot of controversy and has split the team up. Matt thinks this is an albino pigeon but I argue that it is a released white dove which is a rock pigeon bred to be leucistic. There is a big difference obviously. Are you on team Tori or Matt??

For fun this week the lab went to a trendy taco arcade, had a bonfire with many dogs, and played trivia at Pizza Luce! It was a lot of fun and a great way to end the week!

This week has been a little tough for me personally. After almost a decade of chronic kidney failure, my dad received a call from Mayo Clinic on Sunday saying that they were offering him a kidney from someone who recently passed in New York. They had to operate the next day. I was nervous all of Monday morning and afternoon but got news that his surgery was successful and the kidney began functioning after a few hours. It felt like things were finally changing. I told my dad that I felt good about about everything as my intuition is usually right. But the risk of rejection is still high.

Yesterday I got a call from Mayo that my dad had internal bleeding, he was in pain, and his kidney stopped functioning. They did an emergency operation which was successful in removing the hematoma. Today his kidney began functioning again… I really hope that he doesn’t lose his second chance. I’m still optimistic about it but it will continue to be on my mind for the next couple weeks during his recovery.

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