Sunday, June 21, 2009

Duckweed- half duck, half weed

Author: Robert Bair

I have started to develop a love-hate relationship with duckweed. Despite all of its negative characteristics (one of which I went into detail in my last blog: its stickiness)it has started to grow on me (both literally and figuratively).

Last week I started a second set of experiments with lead as my heavy metal. I am happy to say that the whole experiment went by much smoother than the first one. I knew exactly how to set up the experiment and how to time it. This time I didn't find myself desiring more limbs (even thought I would be entertaining to have some more).

A new problem has arisen; One which threatens my whole project! My precious duckweed isn't growing fast enough to compete with algae. After conducting the experiment for lead, I was left with less than 1% of my original duckweed culture. I might have to wait for more than a week to have enough for another experiment.

In an effort to "jump start" my duckweed, I was sent to a waste water treatment plant to collect fresh influent. It was quite the adventure. I was sent to the WWTP with a bunch of buckets and a driver that had no clue why I was going to the WWTP. After roaming around the grounds for a while, I found out that I had to climb about three flights of stairs to the place where I needed to collect the influent. After carrying about 8 buckets filled with influent down the stairs my back felt like meatloaf. I hope the duckweed appreciates all of my hard work.

As a side note, I finished making my tent. Now I can go camping!

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