April 28, 2010

This past week I've just been working on making sure everything's in order for the first part of my project. I finished up my proposal with a few last revisions. I also talked to Dr. Bader to make sure samplers were set aside and arranged to get 6 so that I could have 2 per substrate type. I've also been working to ensure that I have permission to sample in the Rocky River. I'll probably set the samplers in about a week and a half, but it looks like I'm pretty much ready.

April 18, 2010

This week hasn't been too eventful as for as working on my proposal. I revised my first draft in order to include more information that I'd left out and in order to make it clearer. I've also worked on ensuring that I have permission for my work and to get the signatures of everyone I need to work on my project.

April 03, 2010

I've just been working on writing my proposal this week. I've written it in the reverse order of the proposal, starting with the work plan and personnel and then moving on to the description of research. I did find that starting with the simpler sections helped me to think more about the other sections. I've made good progress so far and have yet to hit a wall. I still have the introduction left, although I have written an outline of the paragraphs I plan to write in it, so I'm not too worried about getting stuck on that section, although it will require the use of many sources. Overall, though, the writing has been going pretty well this week.

March 23, 2010

So far this week I have been very successful in proceeding on my proposal. I manage to write 2 pages so far, and I feel as though I should have enough information to easily fill the page requirement.

In writing the outline and proposal, I have begun to think more about the materials and people I will need to complete this project. I am fairly certain that most of the materials I need exist on campus somewhere, as I have used them in previous labs. I have e-mailed Ana Locci, the director of the farm, to see if she knows how I can get some of the materials that I used at the farm during my ecology lab last semester and to see if she knows of a good laboratory with for studying/identifying my specimens. The person I knew of at CMNH who was very knowledgeable in the field of aquatic invertebrates has apparently taken a position in another state, so I e-mailed Dr. Bader, the aquatic biology professor, to see if he or someone he knows might be able to assist me in obtaining an invertebrate key or identifying some of the more difficult specimens. Hopefully these e-mails will produce some good results.

Finally, now that it's warming up outside. I've begun planning a trip around the area to finalize my site for this project. I've planned some places to head to this Saturday, so, assuming the weather cooperates, I will hopefully have a good idea of where I'll be conducting this research by next week.

Everything's starting to come together nicely. I haven't hit any major roadblocks yet, but I have a feeling getting a permit might be an issue, as most of the sites I'm looking at are in Metroparks. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.

March 20, 2010

So this week I just continued reading up on my topic. I read the pertinent sections of the book Whiting gave me, and I read a lot more on the invertebrates I'd be likely to find in Ohio streams. I also met with Whiting earlier in the week, and we decided to broaden the question from just shale to looking at multiple substrate types within a single reach that I find, whether cobble, sand, silts, bedrock, etc., but making sure to choose an environment with varied substrates. I've also been thinking about streams that would be suitable for my project- ones that are shallow enough to wade in and take measurements, but big enough to have diverse environments. I've also started to think about materials that I will need to complete this project. Overall, I've just spent most of my time attempting to specify most of the ambiguous points in my project and beginning to outline the process.

March 04, 2010

This week has been pretty productive. I now have around 40 articles on my computer, and I've been working my way through them. I also have a book that I got from Whiting that I hope to get through by next Sunday. With every article I read I get more excited about my project. I'm ready to get going.

March 01, 2010

This week's been pretty busy, but I've still found time to amass a large number of articles on my topic. I've started with specifically looking at invertebrates. I've made my way through a few articles, but I should be able to cover a bunch more this week. I've been pleasantly surprised so far by the number of articles I've been able to find. Hopefully upon reading them I'll still find that they pertain to my subject, but it's looking good so far.