This week we were going to start our work on Wednesday like usual, but the weather wasn't cooperating. The rain prevented us from continuing our work until Thursday evening. The night included searching the rice fields for frogs and searching the forests. On this night however, the girls searched the rice while we only searched the forests. However, this time we were told to collect the frogs we catch in order to put tracking devices on them. The trackers included the attachment of a diode and antenna to some gauze that we would strap on to the frog. The diode and antenna are what sent out the signal that our Recco machine could detect when searching for the frogs.
The tracking period was 48 hours...and we had caught frogs from two different days so we just had to make sure that each frog was tracked for 48 hours. Our total tracking time was then 72 hours. When searching we used a method where people would go out in different shifts (that way people could get some sleep). The tracking didn't go as smooth as thought... For example, the tracking devices at first would fall off, limit some of there mobility (because the antenna is 7-10cm in length, which is 2-3 times the length of the frog), and we found that snakes were eating the frogs. We lost two of our frogs to the snakes, which is sad but part of nature (we had to pull the antennas from the snakes' mouth so they didn't get injured from the antennas). In addition to this our Recco machine has a limit on how far it can detect a signal (also we can't put too large of antennas on the frogs since they're small) so as soon as the frogs get really high in the trees we can't detect their signal. This was a problem because after we lose sight of them we can't tell if the frogs have moved down the tree, stayed in the tree, or moved to another tree. This makes it difficult but if the frogs stay near the ground or in some bushes we are able to follow them easily. We experienced both of these circumstances. This tracking continued until Monday at 3 am.
My independence day was very different from every other one I've ever experienced. Im used to being home and hanging with friends/family and watching fireworks. I knew that I wouldn't be experiencing this while in South Korea, so I wasn't expecting anything special. During the 4th we worked (checking our pipes in the forest and tracking the frogs) so that was different, but to get us in the mood one of the graduate students bought us some beer and a cake to make it feel like more of a holiday. I didn't get to see any fireworks, but it was very kind and thoughtful of her to do that.
Another thing we did this week (on Wednesday when it was raining) was go see a movie at the Paju premium outlet mall. We saw the new Transformers movie. I was hoping that the movie would be good because Mark Wahlberg was in it, but the movie turned out to be disappointing. It was ok, but I think I've seen enough transformer movies in my lifetime. On the other hand, the movie theater was really cool. One difference was that you buy your tickets from a machine, and you get to choose the seats you sit in (First come, first serve). It was different seeing a movie in Korea, because there are Korean subtitles throughout the whole thing (this didn't bother me). This was something that I wanted to experience while I am here.
Since I haven't really talked about the school that I'm doing research at while my stay in Korea I would like to talk shortly on its history and how it has progressed to become a top University. In 1886, american missionary Mary F. Scranton began classes for women at her house in Jeong-dong, Seoul. It started out with only one student and soon grew. College courses didn't begin until 1910, and had a class of 15 students. Ewha College was officially founded in 1925 making it the first institute of higher education for Korean women. People started seeing what the school was becoming and the demand for students was increasing so the campus moved to Sinchon in 1935, making a step toward becoming a world-class university. 1945 marked the year when it became the first accredited 4 year university in Korea. The school made advancements in medicine and became the world's first engineering college for women in 1996. In 2001, Ewha opened Korea's first division of international studies, and offered all courses in English. Since the year of 2008, the university has inspired the change of landscape for many campuses because it is the largest environmentally friendly underground campus in Korea. Today it has become one of the largest campuses for scientific research and has been selected to receive KRW (Korean money) 100 billion over the next ten years for basic research. As you can see this university has come a long way and is now a top university. I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to spend my summer here doing research and learning under top professors.
That concludes this weeks blog...
That concludes this weeks blog...