24 May 2017

New reference collection

Nothing shows students what forams look like like forams. You can have pictures or pen drawings but the best thing is an example. During the June field trip we make the students identify a hundred intertidal and shallow subtidal foraminifera; it tends to be the first time they see the critters. We used to have a rather nice reference collection to take with us, so we could show the students what to expect. It also helped if they confused two species that look quite similar in a line drawing, but don't in real life. Very useful! But it moved with James.

I decided to make a new one. I had noticed we still had the forams the students had picked the year before; I could harvest these for that purpose. So when the marking was mostly done I went back to the lab. I hadn't seen forams for a while! It was nice to re-acquaint myself. And the more rarely encountered forams I had to forget about; I figured the original reference collection was based on quite a number of years of the field trip. But I have the most common types! And of the more abundant forams I made sure to make three slides each, so three students can look at that species at the same time. Of some species I only managed one or two. And if the students find more of the rarer species I can make a few more slides there and then. I don't know if this exercise will be kept going in the long run, but well, a reference collection is a joy forever. Might even take it with me if I have to go!

 Work in progress

What I'll make do with during the field trip (there are forams in there, honest)

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