8 June, 2000
'Ready, Matt? I'll call out this set of data for you - Inorganics for Sample 222 are Chloride 26.40, nitrite 30.02, bromide 9.3, nitrate 26.05, and sulfate 15.06. The organics' (compounds containing carbon) sample values are formates 465, and acetate 566.' And so goes on the data collection from the two hundred and twenty-second sample taken and run on the Ionic Chromatograph (IC). This was the 2nd time I spent a day with the IC. However, I got to run many of the samples today. I was a 'button-pushin' cowgirl' fer sure. In an IC there is a syringe that intakes test samples and in between each run, it must be cleaned with super-filtered water (set up and push 2 buttons, then do it again). After cleaning, the next sample is put into place and readied for start (set up and push another 2 buttons). In the meantime, the current run finishes and the data must be read. Sometimes the charts are difficult for the computer to read correctly and so they must be checked each time for any errors and adjustments made. It is an interesting process that requires concentration so that the right step is done at the right time. And I loved it. A 'data- hungry' Dr. Jack Dibb kept Matt Arsenault, his graduate research assistant, and I on our toes to push the samples through just as fast as the system would allow. And no wonder he was eager for the next set because the data were quite variable for reasons not yet known, It was a most interesting day. Tomorrow I will learn how to do a clean collection of snow.
The weather was much like yesterday with blue skies and (relatively) mild temperatures and wind. I've gotten so acclimatized that the main reason I wore my coat between buildings was to carry both my slide film camera and my digital camera. Hat and gloves were not necessary for the minute I would be outside. Sunglasses are always required. The UV light is so strong here (the Arctic has its ozone hole, too) that permanent eye damage can result if the eyes aren't always protected.
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