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!
Bicycles are common transportation in Cologne
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.
ITRAX X-Ray 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.
Graphs from the X-ray core scanner
X-Ray of a core (top) compared to a photo of the core.
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!