Monday, September 24, 2012

Konstanz University

I was glad to hear that all of our classes would take place at the Limnological Institute rather than at the University for a few reasons.

1) the Institute is located within spitting distance from the lake. During lunch, we can go swimming or lay on the beach. Or both. At the University, there is a cafeteria (called the mensa). It is large, noisy, and like much of the rest of the building, difficult to navigate.

2) The University was built in the 60's. There is a lot of 'interesting architecture' and 'art' built into the building. For example, at many places, there are stairs when they are not necessary. Sometimes, a flight of stairs will split into two, and the paths will rejoin a few feet later, only to split again. Both paths end up in the same location. There is 'art' on some of the walls that is not allowed to be taken down even though it is outdated and faded from the sun. The building is very large and generally difficult to navigate, while the Institute is much smaller and straightforward, practical, if you will.

3) The University is located up on a hill. Every day, around noon, I walked from the Institute, up the hill and to the University. It gets very hot in the middle of the day. (this is just me complaining)

4) In the classroom at the Institute, we had a kitchen! Most German classrooms are like this. I often went to class early to start making the coffee for everyone. It's just so nice to make tea before class, drink it out of your favorite mug, and wash it once lecture is over.

The University's research vessel! 

 We got to take a ride on the vessel. They demonstrated many data-gathering practices, such as taking secchi depths.

 Collecting sediments! I still regret not having looked more closely at the sediments.

In the classroom at the University, learning some general microbiological techniques. 

I don't remember what this is called, but it is a specific (and rather difficult) way to get microbes concentrated in a small amount of water on your slide. Make sure not to spill! 
Limnological textbooks!

The world of microbes is so beautiful 
- Kim Shoback

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