Thursday, April 8, 2010

Busy week...

Wowsers, it's thursday already and I haven't posted this week! Sorry. It's been a really busy one. I started teaching on Wednesday, so it's kind of the beginning of the end until the end of term in May. I'm teaching graduate students Biological Oceanography this semester - i've taken over the benthic biology portion, so am co-teaching with two other faculty. Benthic Biology is all the biology that lives on the seafloor, rather than things like fish and plankton that live up in the water column (they are pelagic).

The picture above is a food web for Cod in the north Atlantic - so everything that cod eats, that eats cod, and all the things that those animals eat. I used this diagram in my first lecture to really show just how everything in the ocean is connected. The red lines are all pelagic animals, and the black lines are all benthic animals. So even though when we think about conserving and protecting stocks of Cod, we really need to think about conserving and protecting many many other species too (especially those that live on the bottom!), because if you take away even one of those numbers, the whole system could collapse.

The course website is here if you want to see the lectures (scroll down, i'm right at the bottom!). The first few lectures are not my favorite, sediments and biogeochemistry, hardly my topic so i'm going to be glad when those are down and we can move onto the fun stuff like reproduction and recruitment (i'm a sucker for gonads), deep sea biology and corals. Tomorrows in particular is going to be a struggle for me, so it'll be good to get that down.

Other than that i've had things having to be shipped to cruises, students committee meetings, it was grad student talks day weds afternoon, and i've been trying to organize my trip to Maine and Canada (to renew my work visa) and also to Alaska to do some work with the National Park Service in Glacier Bay National Park. Oh, and of course, as always, it's proposal time again. Luckily the one due in 3 weeks is a resubmittal of one of the projects that was rejected with high marks last year. I'm not feeling good about that resubmittal (there have been some unavoidable collaborator changes, which none of us are happy about, but there are some new rules within the program that we're having to abide by), but it's going to go where it needs to go.

So it's been a busy one, and this weekend doesn't look any less busy. I did get to have a coffee break with Jenny and little Hannah today though, that was fun. She's taken to giggling at me whenever she sees me, it's so darn cute.

1 comment:

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

glad you have some toddler cuteness. i really am crossing my fingers for your proposals. you handle everything so well but you really do deserve some things to go your way for once.
as for the cod food web and need to preserve environments they live in and their food chain/web live in, this whole concept is one of the things i struggle with so much. everything is tied to everything else and as i make efforts to improve one area ecologically, i feel like another area suffers.