We (meaning Gustav) had a grant report due on January 31st so we have spent the past few weeks making sure that we had dotted and crossed our i's and t's respectively. A grant report is often required at the end the term of a grant, and it is our opportunity to show the funding agency how the money was spent and how we kept all the promises that we outlined in the original grant application. In our case this called for some last minute plating just to make extra sure that we would have as many as we promised. Lots of people got in on the act. Jenna is a veteran plater, and you've already seen her mad skills immortalized in digital format. Less accustomed to plating, but still lending much-needed manpower to the task, is the Nat/Art consortium which we have named Nart. Nart tag-teamed several arthropod plates.
Because mollusc shells are sometimes broken (either accidentally or by necessity) to get a subsample of the animal's tissue, we photograph the specimen before sampling so we have a photo voucher of the intact animal. Sarah is the speediest photographer in the west so she often manned the photo station.
While some of us spent countless hours plating, it wasn't the only activity in the range. It's a new semester so Gustav put out the call, "CUKE TEAM! ASSEMBLLLLLLLE!" is what I'm sure the email said. And assemble they did. Here they are meeting to discuss strategy. I'm pretty sure that the strategy involves a lot of ossicle slide preparation on the part of Julie, Laura, and JD.
Several members of our lab also went to the Florida Union of Malacologists meeting in Sanibel this past weekend. John, Gustav, Fred, Jim, and Chelsey all presented talks. They are also featured in the group photo, along with several people whom you might recognize from their visits to the museum.
In the face of the plating challenge, I have been neglecting my desk for the past week. Emails with work requests have piled up as well as boxes of vials and supsample tubes to be cataloged or renamed in the database. This is what faced me on February 1st.
To those who would be tempted to suggest that my desk always looks like this I would argue that flinging accusations around doesn't empty my desk any faster, and if you're not part of the solution then you're probably part of the problem. Even though February has just begun, we have quite a month lined up. Stay tuned.