Today started off with presentations of our research projects. I was honestly extremely nervous about presenting today. Bryce and I finished our presentation literally 10 minutes before we had to meet in the seminar room to present it. We had worked on it last night until about 2:00am, but ended up changing pretty much the entire thing! Also, we were very distracted, surprise surprise right? One of the last groups to go, I was nervous mostly because everyone's projects were so great! Interesting, scientific, well thought out, all that jazz. In the end, our presentation actually went really great! We even won the "Best Presentation Award" from Edd and Trisha! Even though we may have thrown our project together last second, we spent a lot of time analyzing our data and writing our report--and we were passionate about our research--and I think that is what made our presentation great. Also, all that procrastination was filled with quality laughs and conversations, so I think we were just able to flow together well given all the time we've had to be together these last few days.
After presentations and lunch we all decided it would be fun to play Hide and Go-Seek Tag. Now, if anyone from back home is reading this, you know night games were the thing to do in Mesquite. And I loved them, and shoutout to my bestie Jessica for always being my ninja partner and preparing me for today. We started out with just one person as "It" to come hunt for all of us hiders, and then once found you had to team up with the person who found you to find the remaining people. I hid for about 5 minutes and then just decided to wander around. If I heard people coming I would just step behind a tree or a bush until they passed and then continue on my merry way. Almost everyone passed me at least once without noticing me. I distinctly remember thinking to myself as I walked the beach "The thing with games like these is you never know if you've won or not." I saw Pat (our cook) out collecting plastic on the beach and talked to him for a while (he is a wise man), and then went and sat down at the shoreline to look at some cowhead stingrays. Next thing I knew, Audree and Tia showed up screaming "YOU'RE ALIVE!!" "I won?" I asked, "By about 40 minutes, yeah you won! Everyone's been looking for you--WHERE WERE YOU." Just walking, wandering, doing my Sienna thing. (P.S Shoutout to Bryce who never got the memo that I was found and kept looking for me for about an hour. He's a true homie.)
Once everyone knew I wasn't dead, we went out and watched the sunset on Heron Island one last time. The water was warm, and the sun was blindingly bright. We played cards and took a night walk to look up at the stars. I truly adore every single person that came on this trip. I don't know what I did in life to get to take place in such an amazing experience, on a beautiful island with some of the greatest people I've ever met. We haven't even said Goodbye yet, and we're already planning a reunion the second Fall semester starts. I came out here to learn about coral reefs, to learn about what I want for my future, and for experience. I'm leaving with a reaffirmation that I am in the field I am passionate about, I am excited for the future because I have hope for this world, and most importantly I am leaving with lifelong friends and a heart that is full of love and light.
Today Bryce and I worked all day on data analysis/interpretation, writing our report, and putting together our presentation. Add breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a little nap and some fun with fellow classmates on the beach at sunset and that was my day!
For the most part, uneventful. But not in a bad way. I enjoy the work and the learning and getting to know Bryce better! We've debated, laughed, and overall, I think, just worked well as a team. I've had a lot of fun, and really do feel like I'm growing as a scientist while I'm out here.
Trisha and Edd have been really great to answer all my obnoxious questions about grad schools and future and where to get a job in a lab, and I really appreciate it.
Sometimes it's the simplest of days that are the greatest of days.
Last night I absolutely crashed before I could write my blog. The crazy part is, it wasn't even one of the most "physically active" days I've had out here. Bryce and I worked on our project and went out and collected data at high tide with Ed for about 2 hours. The winds here are really picking up and the current was pretty strong so we were beat, but we had dinner and the rest of the night to recover so who knows why I was so tired!
As for today, I worked again with Bryce to analyze the data we collected yesterday and I think our project is going in the right direction. Even though we may not be the most focused pair around, we get it done in the end and we have fun too--that's what matters right?
Only two more days left on Heron and I'm trying not to think too much about it and just enjoy the time we have but it's been so great and I'm not ready for it to end. Today, while watching the sunset, having good conversation I was reminded of something I read out of a John Muir book:
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."
I am a Wildlife Science major with a minor in Philosophy at USU. I am passionate about studying and conserving our planet. I love to travel and explore and meet new people. My hobbies include hiking, doodling, yoga and doing my best to make the people around me smile!