Week 1: June 26-30
I have been asked to list what I have learned this week in a few paragraphs. This is quite an undertaking since I have learned so much since my arrival at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Due to the finite amount of room available for this summary, it represents only a fraction of what I have learned this week.
This week was my first week working with the Advanced Survey Technologies Program. Throughout this internship I will create a teaching module about fisheries acoustics designed for high school science students. This week my main task was learning about fisheries acoustics and how it works. In the beginning, I had to gain a stronger understanding of the underlying physics concepts such as sound waves, specifically addressing how sound waves propagate and why any waves are eventually absorbed in water. This was important for answering questions like “How do acoustics work?” and “Why use sound waves for underwater detection in the first place?” I also started to get a stronger practical knowledge of fisheries acoustics. I studied some of the different types of transducers, devices that propagate and detect sound waves, while also seeing first hand how such devices are tested and calibrated to assure precise measurements in the field. My studies eventually lead me to the real-world applications of fisheries acoustics like estimating fish populations and distributions. Such information that can be used to help protect the environment and promote sustainable fisheries.
After only a week I’ve learned much regarding acoustics and its applications. I’m looking forward to what is coming up in the rest of my time here.
Week 2: July 3-July 7
Another week has passed for my internship at the Advanced Survey Technologies Program and now it’s time for a short recap.
This week I began learning one of the most common programming languages used here at the lab, Matlab. I learned about its many capabilities like constructing graphs, programming and processing data. I also used Matlab to do normal mathematical calculations. Dr. Demer recommended that I apply Matlab visuals for my project, so I began learning the many ways one can graph on Matlab, including linear, polar or even 3-D graphing. The visuals will be very useful in my final teaching module. I’ve also needed to become familiar with some of Matlab’s other applications. For example, one part of my work called for taking a sound filter and applying it to a given signal in order to block part of the signal’s frequency. After an initial introduction to the program by AST personnel, I was able to utilize several “Help” and “Demo” sections of the program on my own and got it working (Figure 1).
|Figure 1. A comparison between an original and a compensated generic analog signal. The original signal is represented by the black line, the compensated signal is represented by the blue line. Time is on the X axis, with the magnitude on the Y axis, both in unspecified generic units. |
However, this week was not as much about learning new information, but more about refining my current knowledge. I reviewed and developed my project outlines, and my knowledge of fisheries acoustics in general. With a stronger foundation in fisheries acoustics, I’ve been able to look back at the topics that I skimmed initially and understand them more fully.
Week 3: July 10-14, 2006
I just completed my third week at Advanced Survey Technologies, and now it is time for my weekly overview.
This week, I began to constructing my teaching module using PowerPoint. In order to present some complicated concepts of fisheries acoustics in a visible form, I had to refine my knowledge of animations and other visual affects in PowerPoint. I then used these animations to help present concepts such as acoustical impedance and pulse length in a way that is both straight forward and exciting. The animations were coupled with diagrams that I created (Figure 2).
| Figure 2. It depicts two fish and how the amount of sound scattered changes with the orientation of the fish|
In addition to the technical aspects of my learning module, I also continued to refine my knowledge of fisheries acoustics. Because my project seeks to teach others about fisheries acoustics, I know that I must have a very strong understanding of these concepts. This week I concentrated on uncertainty and measurement error and how they affect population estimates by reviewing my texts, and asking questions when needed.
Week 4: July 17-21
My main objectives this week were: 1) learning Advanced Survey Technologies’ website utilities and 2) refining my acoustics teaching module. The first goal was to put my teaching presentation and the accompanying materials on Advanced Survey Technologies’ website. To do this, I needed to become comfortable using the SWFSC’s web editing program. This was initially a concern because I am not yet familiar with HTML programming, but fortunately there was an easy to use interface. With this I began to experiment with various ways one can put a PowerPoint presentation on to a website. This part is not completed yet and I am still working on it.
View Current Version of Web Presentation Here
The other part of my work this week was refining my teaching module and my presentation of it. With the content of the PowerPoint mostly finished, I had to begin thinking about the actual presentation. Douglas Krause and I began by practicing the oral presentation. This review identified some important weak spots and allowed me to begin getting comfortable with presenting the piece to an audience (since that is the purpose of this project). This allowed me to make revisions, but also taught me some important pointers about presentations such as the importance of pace, articulation, and painting a verbal picture for the audience.