China Research


New Results and Mixed Emotions

The beginning of this week brought another surprise! On Monday I went into the lab to go over my results with my advisor Elsie. We noticed consistent and very alarming figures from the data of sample site HIR, a reservoir which we expect to have the highest concentrations of HAAs and THMs. The data showed to be the exact opposite showing consistently the lowest levels of DBPs of all sites. Once we noticed this we immediately contacted doctor Liang. We looked over the TOC (Total Organic Carbon) percentages which had been previously determined and came to the conclusion that these numbers were very unlikely. By Wednesday we were retesting TOC values by burning samples and measuring the carbon emitted. The new overall results are much more pleasing and this will completely change my data. I have realized when doing experiments how important it is to be meticulous about every step and carefully review results you come across because the smallest miscalculation or reading can change the outcome of an entire project. With my new results I hope to make a significant contribution to the overall project.

This week has been both exciting and somewhat sad. I had a farewell lunch with my lab on Thursday and very much enjoyed it but was also saddened by the fact I probably will not see these people again once I leave Hong Kong. I will especially miss my advisor Elsie who I couldn’t have had a chance of success at this project without. I feel the same way about Eric’s lab as we have spent many hours with them going to various restaurants and enjoying some finer points of Hong Kong Eric and I would not have found on our own. Not only have I enjoyed the Hong Kong culture but living in a city like this I have had the opportunity to try Islamic, Indian, Japanese and most every other type of food I can think of. I will be sad to leave the constant stream of new experiences as sometimes life in the USA makes a person a creature of habit.