Posts By: Hannah Dion-Kirschner

Podcast weeks

Whew! Where did July go? Now that the excitement of splitting the sediment core has passed, the last couple weeks have been a bit of a blur of intensive sample processing. I wrote in my introductory post that lab work can often be monotonous. To be perfectly honest, I can find the routine protocols soothing, especially… Read more »

When plans change

One lesson in research: you can never expect things to go according to plan.               Although last week was in many ways really exciting for me and my lab group, and involved lots of new instruments and new opportunities, we also hit a number of road bumps. The freeze… Read more »

Core sampling week, in pictures

As compared to usual, lots happened this week! Here’s a summary of what’s been happening, told in pictures.   Testing out our brand-new core splitter on an empty core tube.   My very own freshly split core!   The new core scanner took super-high-definition photos of my core so that changes in color and texture… Read more »

Commence Phase Two

Tomorrow is the big day…the day we’ve all been waiting for…the day we split the sediment core! If you’ve read your way through my blog, you’ll know that right now, the core looks like this: The core was sampled from the bottom of Little Sugarloaf Lake in the summer of 2015, and ever since it… Read more »

A little rest for the wicked

  I’m spending this week out in Washington state, taking a break from the lab to visit my dad and his family over the 4th. It’s always rejuvenating to get out and breathe some fresh air—I spend so much time thinking about the environment and earth processes, but I too rarely make the time to… Read more »

Ready for analysis!

Last Monday I began the journey to analyze my plant samples on the IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometer). This beast of a machine is really a scientific marvel: using what is essentially a fancy lightbulb filament and a giant magnet, it sort out the lighter isotopes from the heavier ones and counts the relative abundances of… Read more »

From the field to the vial

The project that I’m doing this summer is actually a continuation of work I’ve done since last September, and it builds off of fieldwork that a Ph.D. student in my lab completed in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Here’s the rundown of everything that’s happened so far: A sediment core, a bit over half… Read more »

How do you measure past climates, anyway?

It can be tricky to grasp the mechanics of paleoclimate research. In part, that’s because it usually involves taking something we can measure, and using it as a proxy for something we can’t. For example, maybe we’d like to know what temperatures were typical in the Midwest a million years ago, or how the Greenland… Read more »

First start!

This summer I will be living in Evanston, spending my days in Dr. Maggie Osburn’s isotope geobiology lab and Dr. Yarrow Axford’s paleolimnology lab. What motivates me to spend eight-hour days in a room with minimal windows (apart from grant funding…)? I am looking to answer questions about how Greenland’s climate has changed over the… Read more »