Tidal Flat Core Samples

Homogenizing

Homogenizing

 

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Finished sample

 

Today in the bio-geochemistry lab, Lisa Benavidez my lab partner, and I started by homogenizing core samples that had been freeze dried.  Freeze drying the samples is important because the research is more focused on the sediment, and do not want any water in the sample.  Freeze drying allows the sediment to be free of any liquid which makes it easier to work with , and the liquid would give false research information.  Homogenizing core samples is when the sample is poured into an agate dish to crush any large clumps of sediment or shell in the sample, to make the sample more reliable and equal in parts through out.  After homogenizing the sample, Veronica and Ben showed us how to extract the center part of a core sample and place it in study tubes to be ready for freeze drying.  The center part of the sample is the most important because it hasn’t been touched by any equipment, and has not been compromised in any way.

Who We Are

Coleman Frederick, Veronica Campbell, Ben Smith, Lisa Benavedez

What We Did

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Samples ready to be tested

  • Homogenized core samples after freeze drying
  • Extract center of core samples and placed in tubes for freeze drying
  • Introduced to how freeze drying works, as well as how ashing works

What We Learned

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Core Samples

Oso Bay

Oso Bay

 

  • Homogenizing insures a sample is consistent through out the mixture
  • Ashing cleans the test tubes by heating up tubes in super heated oven that kills any materials not wanted.
  • Center of the core is most important
  • This study is the first study of Oso Bay’s Tidal flat.

Questions We Have

  • How deep were the core samples taken at?
  • Are nitrogen, oil, and other pollutants found in Oso Bay?
  • Are prehistoric organisms found in core sample?

Connections to Teaching

  • I would use the information to show the students proper lab techniques, and safety in the lab.  Also that it is important not to contaminate the samples, or else the results will be false.