What Did You Do On Your First Day…Made Seawater

What Did You Do On Your First Day…Made Seawater

By Eilea Knotts

Hello! It is Tuesday here in Halifax and it’s my official first day of work. Yes, we came to Dalhousie University yesterday but the day was spent listening to orientations, going to seminars, and giving lightning presentations on what we were going to do here. I probably spent about two hours in my official lab space but the time was spread throughout the entire day so I wasn’t able to do much except weigh out some salts and start to learn where things were located in the lab.

That is why I am officially calling today my first day of work. I can finally get going on my experiments! I imagined I would familiarize myself with the equipment I would be using, prepare the media my phytoplankton need, and set up for the experiments I would begin the next day. If you haven’t guessed already…that didn’t happen. Instead, I spent the entire day making artificial seawater and an ingredient for my inhibitor stock solution.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time. I felt like a true scientist with my goggles and lab coat.

Looking spiffy in my lab coat and goggles in Dr. Finkel’s lab

But that wasn’t what I thought I would be doing all day. How could seawater take so long to make!? Well, there are a bunch of different salts that go into making artificial seawater so I had to weigh each one out, get them to dissolve in water, and then add them in a very specific order. Oh, and did I mention I was making 20 liters of it?

Weighing and mixing station
20 Liters of Artificial Seawater

This batch of seawater will eventually be split evenly between me and another post-doctoral student to make our own media. That requires more nutrients…so guess what I am doing tomorrow? Yep, making media. 

What a first day!

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