Friday, August 26, 2022

URSP Student Natasha Tagle Assesses the Redox Conditions in the North Pacific Ocean during the Warm Pliocene Epoch using Nitrogen Isotopes

Assessing past oceanic current patterns is very important to understanding and predicting the future of the Earth and its oceans. My research proposes that there was a deep-ocean current that occurred in the North Pacific Ocean. I used two core samples provided by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). The project consisted of crushing the samples, weighing them out in a centrifuge tube, acidifying, rinsing the samples, drying them in an oven, reweighing, and homogenizing the samples into a powder again. From there, the samples were ready for nitrogen isotopic analysis at the University of Maryland (UMD). Working through this research project has been very interesting, each day came with its own challenges. This made the pacing of completing the research a greater lesson in time management, as well as adapting to new work environments & problem-solving. 

For example, one day will consist of a meeting to debrief on any information I am unfamiliar with, work through a few steps in the lab to prep my samples, and then head to class. Next, I’ll be doing readings for research, and then work for my second job, aside from my project, school, and another job. I have valuable weekly progress meetings with the entire research group. As a result, I have been able to learn more about the other research topics the other students have been working on. The last biggest step for this research is having the opportunity to present my project at the Joint North-Central & Southeastern Section in April 2022 for the Geological Society of America (GSA). Thus far, I have gained much more knowledge throughout the process of having a research project than I thought possible, and am looking forward to any opportunities that may come forth as a result of this project