Work hard, play hard

The last day of work for me in Tromso this time was to put all the shells back into their individual home, and did the final check of the pH levels.

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Here you can see the calcein were released from the shell after we put them back!

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As all the pH levels were stable, we were ready to go for the next half of experiment.

Aside from the work, I also experienced the beauty of the the northern Norway. In February, I was really lucky to see the northern light on one night before I left.

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Also, working on the coast means you might have some luck for fresh seafood! Thanks people there let me taste the “real halibut”! That’s yum!!!

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Of course, the most important event in May here is Norway’s national day on the 17th. I was pretty lucky to anticipate this big celebration in both last and this year, enjoying the crowds and atmosphere, especially seeing the parades downtown.

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Work hard, play hard. To have chances going different places when doing fieldwork is one of the most important reason why I like geology!

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Midpoint check in Tromsø

I am in Tromsø again!

The main tasks this time are measuring the dimensions of the shells, weighing them and staining the shells, so that we can have an idea how the shells grew in the past three months, and comparing the growth rates to the rest of the culturing season. Furthermore, by staining them again, we can got additional time control as well.  Also, I am still trying to find a way to extract the extrapallial fluid for boron and other isotopes or major ion concentration analysis.

The EPF extractions are more challenging than we expected. We prepared capillary tubings and syringe this time, however, as the shells were took out from the water, they would spill out the waters inside and made the extraction being more difficult due to the limited fluid left. To overcome the problem, we might try to seal the hole with wax and use hard tubing to penetrate the seal directly next time. Hope that could help to get more fluid from the inner shell environment.

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Here you can see the shells spilled the water out once we took the flower pot out from the tanks!

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All the shells in the experiment were carefully measured and weighed at this point.

As the growth season starts, we also discovered more and more fecal pellets accumulated in the flower pots and tanks. Mike collected some of them to figure out what are the possible food sources for our shells.

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After measuring all the shells, there were ready for being stained again!

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While they were left in calcein bath, we calibrate all the instruments and cleaned the tanks at the same time, preparing for the second half of the experiment.

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Hope the shells will be happy to come back to their cleaned home!