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Grad Student Jitters: What have I signed up for?

05/17/2010, 6:40 PM by Christine Ewers
R/V Knorr at dock.<br/><br/>Credit: Wikimedia Commons
R/V Knorr at dock.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Okay, so it will really be happening. Next week I will fly to Barbados and go onto a ship and not leave this ship for the next 35 days.  This will be my first long cruise, so I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I am excited to start this adventure and feel like a real scientist, like one of the old school. I think I will learn a lot, not only about science but also about myself.

I am thrilled about the opportunity to do so much research in such a relatively short period of time and in the broad context of the ANACONDAS project. On the other hand living on the R/V Knorr will mean substantial changes to my daily routines. Communication to the rest of the world will be restricted on board and cell phones won't work at all. This is very scary for somebody who hardly ever leaves the house without a phone and "needs" to check emails several times a day. I am not particularly eager to find out how I will react to this. But every experience is a good experience, right?

I think I will miss a lot but also receive a lot, and in the end the balance is hopefully a positive one.

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Question of the Day

  • Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?

    Only a few of them.  Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.