Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hypotheses & a birthday

Good news: we dominated at charades last night! The NSF-ers (Энэсэфцы)
didn't even have enough people to form a team! So we played Wellesley
against Wellesley--how could we lose?
The night turned into a chilly morning, but as usual, the fog
eventually burned off. Our task today was to get started on our large
field project. We came up with several hypotheses, and chose the most
feasible research question: Are the areas around the docks less
biodiverse than areas on the shore with less boat-traffic? This is an
interesting question because our results could help us predict the
potential impact of increased tourism on Lake Baikal. We split into
small groups and each took on preliminary research questions. This
included everything from measuring the docks to speaking with local
Russians about the history and use of their docks. In the afternoon we
reconvened, and discussed our preliminary findings and possible
limitations of our original plan.
There was some free time before dinner, during which some students
took advantage of the rays of sunshine and joined the "Nerpa Club" by
taking a dip in the Lake.
We had a special dinner tonight because it is Kate's 20th birthday.
Her presents included a delicious 3-layer cream cake, chocolate, fresh
fruit (watermelon and apples), and flowers straight from the garden of
the Biological Field Station's manager. After dinner, some people did
laundry for the first time. Others started playing a match of soccer
with the locals.
We are getting up bright and early tomorrow for a six hour boat ride
to the town of Baikal'sk!
Meg and Gabi

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