It has been very busy this past month. A little mix of research, which has mainly been waiting for my next batch of thin sections to be completed, and wiriting but most of it has been from working at the CPSX space camp. The first two weeks of the camp has passed by quite quickly now that I think about it. We have two themes, Journey to Mars (because we cannot get enough of Mars) and Journey to the Universe. Our age groups have currently been 9-11, the ages where you still listen to adults (well most of the time) and are quite enthusiastic and loud. The next two weeks will be the same themes but the age groups will be 12-13, less noisy but perhaps more difficulty getting their attention (I remember being like that at that age). It has been rewarding teaching kids about planetary science, but also exhausting. I have two weeks left worknig at the camp before I focus all of my time preparing for the field: creating maps on ArcGIS outlining trials (building on what Rachel Maj created last year) and where I will ideally collect the next samples, review quesitons to be answered in the field, and coordinate with the FINESSE team. Also found out Raymond Francis will be joining us for the field season which is fantastic! While walking and clambering over the lava flows the conversations will be intriguing.
I will be contacting Dr Scott Hughes very soon to ask about his and Dr Alex Sehlkes plans to walk further out towards Serrate Flow as I plan to do that for a least two of the days. I contacted Stephen Wood here at Western Unversity about my samples and he has informed me my 19 thin sections will be ready by mid-next week. I will have a lot of evening and weekend work on the microscope to take notes on my own samples and the Idaho State University samples sent by Dr Shannon Kobs Nawotniak. I plan to take images of all of her samples and show them in the field. I have emailed Dr Matthew Bourassa to ask if he or anyone else in the department is trained on the portal XRF device. Until a new technician has been hired for the department I will have to use XRF data from the portal device. The data will not be as accurate but it will give me a base to work off of for the time being (better than no data in the end haha). Kevin and I recently had our field safety telecon meeting, business as usual: stay hydrated, use long sleeves and hiking trousers to protect yourself from the Sun, and watch your footing. We had three COTM park rangers talk to us about where we are NOT allowed to access, so to avoid damage to the cinder and spatter cones, stopping the public from mimicing us, and making sure we wear hi-vis vests when working in the park.
A couple of weeks ago I offered to write an article for the Leverhulme Trust about my research. They wish to put it in their upcoming news letter. I have written a draft and currently going through the editing stages. I am submitting it before Tuesday as I hate sending something close to the due date....never comfortable with it. I am still surprised and excited I was selected by the organization, always benefical to get funding for your research especially if you are an international student :D