Saturdays are always really busy for Interns. It is spent on the museum floor teaching visitors through the many stations located throughout the Academy. However, last Saturday interns got to go out into the field. The interns headed out to Monterey Bay for Rocky Intertidal Monitoring. This is where interns counted the number of organisms that could be found right along the coast in tidepool ecosystems. To properly monitor organisms the interns had to create a transect line that goes from the shore straight down to the coast. At different spots about three feet away from each other quadrats were placed. Quadrats are 5 by 5 squares that are placed down and in those individual squares organisms were counted. Examples of the species that we observed that day are: anemones, whelks (a type of snail), ochre sea stars, and many more invertebrates. Interns also counted algae that grow in the intertidal zone. It is important to monitor these organisms and algae because their population numbers can tell us a lot about what unnatural changes in the environment they are facing. Possible impacts on these organisms are very harmful such as global warming, pollution, or harvesting.
Interns have the privilege of telling the story of Pierre the penguin to visitors of the California Academy of Sciences. Pierre the Penguin: A True Story, is an illustrated children’s book that tells the journey Pierre penguin went through in order to re-grow his feathers that he lost. Interns got to display this book to audiences, further publicizing this unique story.
Being interpreters of the African Penguins, interns are already knowledgeable about catastrophic molts (the process of losing all feathers and re-growing them) and the book was a great tool to help explain it. Not only can adults learn the story of Pierre through the book, but so can children. Because of this, interns are able to give a presentation to visitors of all walks.
Michael A. Clynne is a volcanic geologist. A volcanic geologist studies the aftermath of a volcano. Clynne was even one of the many geologists on hand when Mt. St Helens erupted! Volcanic geologists are mostly in the field to make maps that include details such as a rock’s age, size, and type. These maps are useful for people to do a number of things:
• understand volcano hazards
• how volcanoes effect the environment
• understanding the origin of a volcanoes magma
• Overall, learning how the earth and how it works.
Last Monday Clynne came in to talk to the interns about his work but specifically about rocks with crystals. When Volcanoes erupt, they later form rocks that have crystals in them. Crystals also told us about magma’s rate of cooling. Interns viewed rocks and volcanic ash under a microscope. Many of the interns were interested in Mt. St. Helens and Clynne showed them second by second photos of its famous eruption.
By Maria R.