Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To The Cape!

Hello readers, this is Hussein reporting in again. You may remember me from the Christmas Island Field blogs posted during the summer. As I forgot to introduce myself earlier, here is a little bit about me. I’m a third-year PhD student working in the Cobb lab at Georgia Tech. As part of my thesis, I’m working on using corals to figure out what tropical Pacific climate did over the last thousand years.  

Beach Breeze Inn, Falmouth MA - January 2012
Going back to research-related travel, one of the major perks of being a scientist is being able to travel to some very cool places (e.g Christmas Island). Why spend insanely long hours hidden away in a lab at home, when you can spend equally long hours hidden away in a lab somewhere totally new. I like to think of it as a “workcation” … it’s just as much if not more work, but somehow ends up being more fun. Most of the time.

A three hour plane ride from Atlanta and quick 1.5 hour drive away from Boston lies the sleepy little village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts - home to marine science powerhouses such as the Marine Biological Laboratory and of course the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). I recently had the opportunity to spend another exciting two weeks at the National Northeast Ion Microprobe Facility (NENIMF) located at WHOI. NENIMF houses two secondary ion mass spectrometers (typically referred to as either SIMS or ion microprobe).

Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts - January 2012 
Over the next few days, I’ll be taking advantage of the brief lull in stalagmite related blogging to talk a little about corals, and the very cool science we’re doing with the SIMS, without getting too nerdy (so that my readers, i.e. mom and dad, can finally figure out what on Earth I do).