Lowly Intern?

On my first day of lab training, I was informed (and I quote), "Everyone in the lab is equal." ... so I was basically told that I, the lowly and inexperienced intern, should be treated as a curator- or post-doc-equivalent??

And then I was told that I should try to make myself invisible in the lab.

Right.

  

Well regardless if people treat me as a museum curator or a disposable pipette tip, I am so thrilled to be working at the Field Museum!

Everyday I get to walk up those magnificently intimidating stairs and think I work here?!

I think I'm a bit behind starting this blog (I've been working for two weeks!), but I guess better late than never! I truly don't believe there is another thing I would rather be doing this summer. I have learned more than I had even begun to imagine I would, and the best part is that I still have three and a half more weeks to go! Wait, but actually as I'm saying that, it definitely doesn't seem like enough time!

  

  

  

I'm on Team Pathogens with Simona and Evan, and we're working on a tiny portion of an enormous project that is researching pathogens found in birds and small mammals. Right now, we're testing for the presence of malaria in Peruvian tanagers' blood samples! But in addition to lab work, the other interns and I have had the chance to explore the museum... both on display and off display. Did you know that less than 1% of the museum's collections actually appear on display at any given time?! One percent!

I've glimpsed hundreds of jarred specimens, touched a tiger shark jaw, held an ivory-billed woodpecker, opened French science journals from the 1800s, observed a twenty-year-old beetle colony hard at work cleaning bones for scientists, held a tarantula (!), and spent the day with a professor from the University of Chicago!

  

  

Stay tuned for more pics of what we're doing! And come peer into the glass and find me - contrary to what it seems as though most think, we can see you too.. (it's not one of those observation rooms where our side is a mirror ;)

Oh, and here's where I eat lunch everyday... just an absolutely awful, hideous view, I know: