Surprisingly, sitting in a windowless basement room of the oh-so familiar KINSC made my highlight reel of this summer. Of course this list also includes walking along the beautiful Gulf Coast scanning for sand patties, exploring New Orleans with the lab group, and diving into a sulfuric Delaware marsh to retrieve sediment cores.
Haverford’s Scanning Electron Microscopy sits in this windowless room. With the help of Tim Chaya and George Neusch, I was able to explore the landscape of the famous sand patties. While in the midst of this investigation, we stumbled upon some of tiny creatures-diatoms Imbedded in oil, some of their features are obscured. To me, they look a kin to space ships, delicate modern art sculptures or perhaps the coliseum.
Diatoms are small unicellular organisms that can inhabit both sea and freshwater. Their intricate beautiful skeletons are composed on silica and make up diatomaceous earth, which can be used in filtration. In oceans, these skeletons are much more diverse in shape than in freshwater environments where pennates (pen-shaped) diatoms dominate the waters.
This summer, I’ve seen new sights—both great and miniature. From the horizons of the Gulf states, looming oil rigs and snarknados to sand particles embedded in oil, beautiful diatoms, and extending hyphae, I’ve seen all the sights there are to see.
 Waggoner, Ben and Brian Speer. “Introduction to Bacillariophyta: The Diatoms.” UCMP Micropaleontology. Accessed. 31 July 2015. www.ucl.ac.uk/GeolSci/micropal/diatom.html
 Egmond, Wim van. “Diatoms.” Microscopy-UK. Accessed. 31 July 2015. www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/wimsmall/diadr.html