Showing posts from September, 2011

Marine Methods

Today I had a field trip out to the Biological Station again for my Marine Methods course. The course teaches you different sampling methods for various substrates and depending on the aim of your experiment. Previously we did the typical rocky shore intertidal sampling with the squares, but today we played with trawls and dredges. It was cool being on the boat and the weather was perfect!! I have just been so lucky this semester with great weather on all of my field trips.

We pulled up different organisms based on the device used. The first was a grab, which we used on soft sediment, only home to a few worms and broken shells - not a very exciting start to the day.

Next we used the bottom trawl. We pulled up mostly sea cucumbers and hagfish (gross!!), and even quite a few small sharks (one variety is bioluminescent), a skate, halibut (one adult, and some juveniles - cool stuff), and some other fish species.

Finally we took three samples with the triangle dredge. The first going up from…

Stoltzen Opp 2011

Yesterday was the big day! The much anticipated Stoltzen Opp - the steepest race in the world! It was quite an event!! Marius, Knut and I all participated. 1000 people raced on Friday, but approximately 5000 people raced on Saturday! When we got there, so many people looked like very serious runners with their spandex apparel. Most were doing an intense warm up, but I did one little warm up jog and then watched all the more serious runners. It was pretty funny. The first people up started Saturday morning at 9:15AM, and from then on, the next runners were released every 10 seconds until 6:30PM.

The whole way up the track there were numerous photographers, and halfway up there was a video camera. I had enough energy then to send a wave and some smiles. To keep myself going I had my iPod with me playing I Won't Back Down (Tom Petty), Lose Yourself (Eminem) - a great running song, and some other songs to keep my pace steady the whole way up.

In retrospect, I wish I had turned down the…

Stoltzen Video

Hello everyone,

If you're up for a laugh and watching me struggle up a mountain. Check out this video around 10:33-11:00AM EST (16:33-17:00 Norway time) of the Stoltzen Opp on September 24 (tomorrow!).

Go to this --> LINK

Livingroom rennovations

The past month, Marius and I have been trying to give the apartment a touch of 'us'. So we took down the yucky wall trim and old wall paper, and painted one wall red. The other walls are going to be white. But I started painting eggwhite on the walls, and I'm not a fan; (1) because I can't see if I missed a spot, and (2) it just looks so plain and boring. So we'll pick out a new color this weekend.

Marius' dad, Tron, is coming to visit us this weekend as well since he will be in Bergen for some meetings. He is going to help us with lowering the ceiling and whatever else Marius has up his sleeve.

New Blog Title

The title of the blog has been changed, yet again. I feel that this title is a bit more fitting, for now.

It's not only the title of one of my favorite Jimmy Buffet, but also, considering the cultural views are a bit different from that of New Zealand, it works. For example, whaling. Kiwis hate the idea, Norwegians don't.

Water sampling in action

[Water team, ASSEMBLE!]

[Starting to get really cold as the rain comes in - numb fingers and toes]

Testing water quality for Bergen Municipality

The Bergen Kommune has recruited one of my classes to test the water quality at various areas around Bergen. The class is divided into groups to test treatment plant outputs, swimming beaches, and river systems. My group was selected to test three different beach sites in an area north of the city called Arna. Yesterday, I woke up at 5:45AM to get to the campus by 6:45 to be at Arna by 7:30 and finish our sampling before noon so that the E. coli samples can be examined. I did the intertidal biodiversity sampling, since I knew I would be efficient at it thanks to all my experience in Auckland. I sure know my alga!! I wanted to try to use the waders and take water samples for the phosphate and E. coli, but we would have used too much time to change the waders from person to person, and we were on a time crunch.

Even though we don't know all of the results of our data, from what we could see, the water didn't look tooooo clean at one of the sites, especially. It was right next to…

All or nothing...

Marius is gone this week for a work training thing. So I have a bit of time to burn by myself until Thursday. I have been able to getting ahead on my readings and work on the scarf that has been in progress the past month or so. Also, since there are only 10 days left until my big Stoltzen Opp race (if you recall, the steepest race in the world), I have created a training plan for the final days. Nothing like putting it off til the last minute! Typical college student behavior I guess. Last year, the average finish time for the girls was around 20 minutes. My goal is to finish the race in less than 20 minutes. It will be quite a feat when I do it! Notice the confidence in that statement. Perhaps I should be a little more weary. Supposedly, the Stoltzen trail has been closed this summer for stair repair. These repairs were done by hired sherpas from Nepal. Lazy Norwegians... The weather forcast the past week has been rain, rain, oooh look there's a little break in the clouds!,…

RWC 2011: New Zealand vs Tonga Haka in Rugby World Cup 2011 Opener 09.09...

It appears I left New Zealand a couple months too soon. Would have been pretty cool to see the Rugby World Cup; however, I will wear the appropriate attire and cheer for the All Blacks from Bergen. One of the two Irish pubs in Bergen is airing the New Zealand vs. Tonga game at 10:30, Friday morning. Gotta root for my second home!

...and they creamed Tonga 41-10! Nice work gentlemen!

QS ranking

Last year, the University of Auckland was ranked 62 (I think) on QS amongst over 500 universities internationally. Low compared to Columbia ranked number 11, but great for New Zealand's international presence.

The University of Bergen is not ranked as high as Auckland, or Columbia for that matter, but in 6 years it has leaped from 320 to 121. Looks like some good things are happening in the research department here, and I'm glad I can be a part of it!

Typical Bergen weather

It's raining today, same as it has been the past 4 days. I got to my office quite wet. My raincoat that I thought was pretty good for field trips in New Zealand can't really hold up to Bergen's autumn rain. Good thing I got my rainboots (that Aunt Jill bought me a few years ago) from Carolyn when we saw her in London..they really make the walk to the tram not horrible! It's the wet jeans that aren't so nice. Still cozy weather for being stuck inside studying at least!

Sept. 1 begins in Taiji

The annual Taiji dolphin slaughter began on the 1st. Ric O'Barry is joined by activists from around the world in Japan now for a protest against the hunting season. Culture is not a good reason for mass harvesting of dolphins that are loaded with toxic levels of mercury.

It is a little different to hear the Norwegian opinion of whaling. It is quite different from that of New Zealand, which is FULL of whale-huggers. Many Norwegians I have talked to about the issue, believe that whales provide the same food source as cattle does in other countries. I can see their point, but to me, it is a matter of the Japanese claiming it is for research but it's hard to believe. If they told the truth about it, then we'll discuss the basic situation of if whaling is not ethical/sustainable/etc.

Maybe I should start a survey to see what the public opinion of whaling is in Bergen where they sell whale meat at the local famous fish market.

Poi E - Patea Maori Club

Thinking of New Zealand reading this chapter in my Fish Behavior textbook that was written by one of my lecturers at UoA, John Montgomery.

Thesis project

Now that I'm in Bergen, and my to-be-supervisor, Anders, is one of my lecturers, it's time for me to start thinking about my Master's thesis project.

My interest lies in schooling behavior and migration. But I'm stuck with how I want to take this since there are so many other papers on it. As soon as I think of something, I begin researching and see it has already been done!

Any outside ideas for me to work with??