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Photo Gallery

In the Lab

[Click on any of these Photo Gallery pictures to see a larger version.]

As you have seen, collecting samples in the field is a big job, but not compared to all the work it takes to analyze all the samples the scientists have gathered!

Once cores are taken, they must be washed, cut into two centimeter pieces and then picked of all excess sediment leaving only pieces of plants and animals. All other samples from the testing site must be measured, observed, cataloged, etc. Finally, all this data must be entered into a database and analyzed to get useful information.

Opal the Octopus

Keeping it Clean!
photo of Sara washing samples
Sara washes samples in the laboratory in Florida (left). Washing is what scientist do to the samples to separate the fossils from the mud and grass.

Kristi (right) then puts the samples someplace where they can dry.

photo of Kristi putting samples to dry

After samples have been processed, scientists need to look very carefully to find all of the important information they contain.
photo of Lynn measuring sample
photo of Jeff taking notes

photo of Jackie looking through microscope
Jackie looks at microscopic organisms (left) while Jeffery draws pictures of the animals and plants that need to be identified (right).
photo of Jeffery drawing

Lynn and Jeffery work together as a team. While Lynn looks at the samples and identifies mollusks and plants, Jeffery takes notes. Jeffery has his nose covered, because sometimes the samples are kind of stinky!
photo of Lynn and Jeffery in the lab

photo of scientist taking notes photo of Lynn taking notes aboard the boat Keen observation skills and careful note-taking are an important part of being a scientist.

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Opal the Octopus
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Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov /flaecohist/kidscorner/analyzing.html
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Last updated: January 15, 2013 @ 12:42 PM (KP)