Pavan's diary

This is the diary that Pavan Shah kept on his bursary placement. During his time on the placement he also helped in a side project carried out by the environmental Sciences department in conjunction with the environmental agency which was an investigation of the spread of American Signal Crayfish within the Lea catchment.

WEEK l

My investigation
Monday

I was introduced to the different members in my work group in the beginning of the week. We completed the general admin, health and safety forms including the Risk Assessment, Manual handling assessment and COSHH assessment forms. We were also given general background information to the investigation.

Tuesday
I placed 10 crayfish and 10 crabs in desiccators to be dried completely. They were left over night so that no moisture was left in the carcasses of the crayfish and crabs.

Glassware equipment which were used in the investigation were cleaned with hot soapy water, rinsed and soaked overnight in 25% nitric acid bath to solubilise any metal ions that may be adsorbed on to the glass walls of the containers.

Wednesday
The crabs and crayfish were removed from the desiccators. Each crab and crayfish was placed in a mortar and crushed ground to a fine powder with a pestle. After, the powdered crayfish and crabs were placed in separate aluminium containers with lids and labelled.

Thursday
Glassware equipment were removed from the acid bath and placed in a heating cupboard to dry.

Friday
We had our weekly review meeting with our project supervisor. I also started some background research into the investigation using the computer.

Other investigation
We went to 5 different sites every day during the week to place, bait (with chum) and check traps for crayfish within the lea catchment. We saw a crayfish outside the trap however we were unable to catch it by manual search and catching.

WEEK 2

My investigation
Monday

I carried out background research into the investigation again using electronic journals
and web pages.

Tuesday
I carried out background research into the investigation again using electronic journals
and web pages and started to write up the report.

Wednesday
I weighed l.0g of the powdered crayfish and crabs into a small beaker and labelled it. To the l.0g powder, I acid digested using 10.0ml of 70 % nitric acid. The beakers were covered with a watch glass. The beakers where placed on a hot plate in a fume cupboard and left to digest. The beakers were them removed and allowed to cool.

Thursday
No work was done in this investigation today.

Friday
We had our weekly review meeting with our project supervisor.

Other investigation
We repeated the same sites as the previous week as we realised the chum (bait) was being washed through. This time we baited the trap with mackerel. On the Thursday, we gave an interview to the BBC London news team about work being done on the crayfish. We were filmed at one of the sites. At this site we found and caught a crayfish through manual search.

WEEK 3

My investigation
Monday

The digested solution made from the powdered crayfish and crabs was filtered into 100 ml volumetric flasks. The volumetric flasks were topped up with deionised water to the 'make up to the mark'. This is the samples produced.

Tuesday
I carried out background research into the investigation again using electronic journals
and web pages and carried on with the write up of the report.

Wednesday
The standards were made using deionised water and standard heavy metal solutions which were serial diluted to the required concentrations.

Thursday
Carried on with the write up of the report.

Friday
We had our weekly review meeting with our project supervisor.

Other investigation
We were unable to get any permission to go into any new sites this week from the landowners therefore we were unable to set any traps.

WEEK 4

My investigation
Monday

No work was done on the investigation today as there was no technical staff available to demonstrate and supervise the running of the AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrometer). Instead we continued writing up our report and working on the other investigation.

Tuesday
Again, we are unable to carry on with the investigation as there was no technical staff available to demonstrate and supervise the running of the AAS. We will use the AAS on the 13/09/06 when technical staffs are available. Hopefully, we will be able to run the standards through the ASS to calibrate the machine. The samples will then be run through the machine and the results will printed out of the AAS machine. Using the result, I will be able to make evaluations and conclusions to this investigation.

Wednesday
Carried on with the write up of the report.

Thursday
Carried on with the write up of the report.

Friday
We had our weekly review meeting with our project supervisor.

Other investigation
We managed to get permission to set traps at five different sites in the lea catchment. We had to remove the traps form one of the sites however as four of the five traps were stolen.