Today was the first day of fieldwork, an adventure out to the Norman Landfill to gather leachate samples. Samples were taken from five different well sites at different locations on the landfill and the surrounding area. The goal was to gather samples of microbes from leachate to bring back to OU for microbial study. Liquid was pumped at same depths along water table at locations and collected in specific containers and filters. After the landfill fieldwork as award of sustenance was enjoyed a tasty local BBQ eatery! The second half of the day was spent in the OU lab inoculating the leachate samples into different media, made yesterday. Aliquots of the samples were taken and added to specific types of media to gauge population count, identify type of respiration and trophic level, microbial function in leachate environment, and isolation of microbes in the leachate samples. It will be stimulating to see the microbes soon discovered, what roles are played in leachate environment, and the array of experimental methods used in the process! Kudos to Dr. Stevenson, Blake Stamps, and Aaron!
This morning, our research group was picked up by Dr. Stevenson in his van and drove all the way to the Norman Police Department located on the landfill. We began extracting leachate from a well by using a pump machine. We learned how to take samples and how to filter them out of the liquid waste. After learning how to take samples, out group was then divided into two groups to take samples of the next four wells. It whole process was fun as we were working together and at the same time being social with one another. After the long day out at the field, we then went out to eat lunch, which was fun as we were hanging out and resting. After eating, we went straight to lab and started creating colonies by putting the leachate in mediums. I personally, thought it was an important learning experience since I will later be working in a laboratory environment similar to this in the near future. Not only was it a learning experience, but I thought it was a bonding experience as our team started becoming friends. This was ultimately demonstrated when part of the group agreed to hang out after dinner to go swimming!
Our first field trip to Norman Landfill was a great success. We sampled five wells as directed by Dr. Stevenson and his co-workers. After that we used those samples to inoculate various media like SRB MPN tubes, TSB MPN tubes and TSA plates. We have set those inoculated plates and tubes to monitor growth over the next 24-96 hours. Hopefully we will get accurate results soon. So far, it was absolutely a new experienced and exciting day.
Today I and my lab partner Sushma did inoculations from a sample obtained from well 35 at the Norman landfill. First, we made SRB MPN’s of dilutions from 10-1 to 10-5, in triplicate, and began to let them incubate. This set of tubes was anaerobic. We then made TSB MPN’s from the leachate from the same well, diluting from 10-1 through 10-5, again in triplicate. This set of tubes was aerobic. We then made PBS dilution tubes from 10-1 through 10-4, and used these to inoculate TSA plates at 10-2 through 10-5. This process was also done in triplicate. Cellulose agar plates were then inoculated from the PBS dilution series, just as for the TSA plates. Finally, we made cellulose overlay plates by spreading 1mL of undiluted leachate onto each of three salt plates and overlaying them with cellulose. All the plates and tubes were then allowed to incubate.
Today was our first field trip. We went to the Norman Landfill. The class sampled a total of 5 wells. We then were able to return to the lab and use this leachate to inoculate some media. Hopefully we were successful and will see some growth in our tubes that we can use later in our experiments. We worked well together, and because of this left the lab at a reasonable hour. I also was informed on the building I need to visit to apply for a temporary parking permit so that I can drive to and from class. All in all it has been a good day.
Field trip turned out better than anticipated. The weather was just favorable to bear the heat for two and some hour outdoor. The tricky part of the day was to be able to stick the needle and the vent needle into the sample bottles. In this attempt, I squirt leachate all over myself several times which is why my favorite part of the day was pipeting and streaking plates after we returned to the lab. It was not only inside an air conditioning, but also we were able to spare some extra time for ourselves. It was a tiresome afternoon and we definitely deserved it !!