Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lab Assistance, Fresh Projects

We have been very busy in the lab lately, despite the lack of blog posts! We've welcomed Tyler as a new lab assistant for this semester.

A few random updates...

- As you can see on the GaugeCam website, we've installed a new set of fiducials on the water level bench background. We're referring to these as bowtie fiducials, for obvious reasons!

- We recently completed the construction of a seepage tank. The purpose of this tank is to evaluate different methods of measuring upwelling groundwater flow rates. A parallel project is the development of new ways to continuously measure these flow rates.

- As part of several projects, we've been using an interesting apparatus called a Marriote jar (or siphon). Check it out on Wikipedia!

- Several of us in the lab are being trained on spectrophotometry equipment. It's an exciting experience, because absorbance and fluorescence are very useful in determining the chemistry of solutions! But it's also challenging, because photochemistry relies on numerous assumptions and caveats. Many of the measurements are easy to make, but expertise is required to interpret the results.

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