Dig Site, B-Reactor and I’m not glowing yet
Well Wednesday and Thursday of the research experience were really exciting and interesting. First, with the help of our mentor we solidified our research. Our priority is to determine the elemental component of the soil near the mammoth and determine whether mammoth originated from this area or carried in from the floods. How we are going to do this is to go into the field and collect 24 samples. Hopefully, three samples per strata layer. While taking samples we are hoping to use the portable XRF to take elemental readings. Once complete we will take the samples back to the lab and use the XRF in the lab to get elemental readings. In this instance we are hoping to cross reference the portable readings with the lab readings. Also we are hoping to compare our results with the lithographic results.
Interesting huh? Yep, we have a lot to do and that would be done on Friday, hopefully. We did get a chance to go to the dig site. Boards covered the actual bones because they were trying to protect them. But it was a great to see where we would be working.
We also had a chance to talk to some of the people who had been working the site for a while. One was an ex-teacher, he is retired now and works with others about educational opportunities on the site. He is also one of the leaders of the Ice Age Flood Institute. Learned a ton of information from the volunteers. After looking over everything we headed back to PNNL to do some more training. We headed to the Geoscience building to speak with a Analytical Geochemist, Erik Krogstad. He helped us decide on the particular procedures we would need to use when testing the samples in the lab. This is where the Rad training would pay off. We were given a tour of the lab and where we would be working for part of the the day on Friday. Pretty exciting stuff since we would be doing the collecting and researching ourselves. Definitely a great teaching moment for the kids and wonderful information to bring back to the classroom. By the end of the day we knew what we needed to do to complete our assignment.
On Thursday we had a great day, we started the day touring the B-Reactor used in the Manhattan project. This was really interesting, I did not know much about the project nor the reactor. Now I’m really interested in what went on at this plant. It was an a great day of visiting the plant. Next entry will highlight the dig and lab work.