May 21, 2010 From the University of Cologne
Germany morning of day three… Our luggage arrived yesterday so we have clean clothes!
In the last two days I have seen more bikes and Smart cars than I have seen in a long time!
Yesterday I spent most of the day at the University. Throughout the day, scientists with whom I worked at Lake E arrived. It was great to see familiar faces and friends from the US, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and Canada. It was also rewarding to meet many of the scientists with whom I have communicated but had yet to meet in person.
In the afternoon I gave a presentation to students and others at the University (including a number of members of the Lake E team) about the expedition and how I have been teaching some of the science that I learned through the expedition.
Following my presentation I took a small introductory tour of some of the Lab facilities where the lake cores are being analyzed. In one of the labs I saw some of the cores from the lake going through the ITRAX core scanner.
This machine does not look that impressive at first glance but it is what is inside that counts! The ITRAX is slowly scanning the core samples with X-Rays. First, a photographic image is made of each one meter core segment. Next, the core is slowly scanned with X-Rays, two mm at a time. An X-ray image of the core is made, additionally; the X-rays are used to determine the precise chemical composition of the sediments.
In the evening the conference officially started with a German BBQ in the courtyard of the Geology department. Good food and good friends with lots of stories =Good times!