New Students

From The Marine Ecology and Technology Group
Jump to: navigation, search

This is the student information page for those of you who are newly working in our lab. We have several simple rules and you must follow these otherwise it doesn't work leading to frustration amongst members of the group. Plus you do not want to get on the bad side of supervisors!


[edit] The rules

  1. Enjoy yourself, science is hard but fun.
  2. Work hard and make the most of the opportunity you have.
  3. Think before you do something, 90% of problems come from doing without thinking.
  4. Ask questions, but not stupid ones. Stupid ones show you haven't done the required reading..
  5. If you have a problem, try to solve it first before running for help.
  6. Follow your Risk Assessments and COSHH forms. Do not risk yourself or the equipment.
  7. Write notes, copious amounts of notes, your lab book is now your most important belonging. Failure to bring lab books to meetings will incur fines.
  8. Double check entries into your lab book, it is easy to enter incorrect or inaccurate data.
  9. Label things in the labs, or they will be disposed of.
  10. Keep work spaces clean and tidy.

[edit] Supervisory contact

For emergencies, see supervisors at any time. Otherwise, try to keep impromptu visits in the afternoon so we can get our own work done during the morning. Appointments available any time, just email in advance to agree a date and time.

When discussing ideas with supervisors, and we fully encourage this, make sure you make notes and ask questions.

[edit] Laboratory keys and codes

Available on a per-person basis, ask supervisors for access to any facilities you need. On almost all occasions this will be granted after the appropriate Risk Assessments and COSHH are completed, checked and submitted to the Safety Officer of CNS. Most importantly, make sure you respect other users of these facilities, PhD students, post-docs and staff will not be impressed if areas are not treated with respect. Label all of your items, get a box from your supervisor to store small items and samples in and find a place to put it in the lab.

You will need an out of hours access form to be signed by your supervisor: File:Out of hours permission.docx

[edit] Health and Safety

You have a responsibility for your own Health and Safety as well as for others around you. It is important that you follow established rules of the University. This explaination is from John East the School's former HS officer: "Risk assessments are used to manage health & safety. You list the hazards and see what control measures there are or are needed. So a tiger is a hazard (especially if it's hungry), having it in a cage is an existing control, further action might be inspecting the cage to make sure it's sound. You may be pleased to know that there aren't any tigers in Ocean Sciences anyway." COSHH is a more detailed risk assessment for chemicals. It is essential that you understand, follow and amend your Risk Assessment and COSHH as you go about your work.

You will always be asked to do a risk assessment for your project before you start. However, there are often ones that have been written before, you should chat with your supervisor, but search this site to see if there are any helpful hints that can be used for your new Risk Assessment as there may be some in the Protocol Wiki.

[edit] Fieldwork

Fieldwork is often one of the most dangerous activities that can be undertaken as a research scientist. It is important that you fully understand the risks that you may encounter in the field. Often, you can avoid injury by not over exerting yourself by carrying large loads. Trips and falls are common, but if you wear sturdy boots or decent wellingtons, slipping can be avoided. All fieldwork activities must have a Risk Assessment.

Inexperienced fieldworkers should always work in a team, this is important because not only is fieldworking with a partner safe, it's also fun and can motivate you when the going gets touch or you get cold! Anyone going on fieldwork must complete the Fieldwork Reporting Form devised by the School, you complete a simple form and it will send a text message to you with a confirmation code, when you return you must cancel your job by reporting back. Failure to do so will cause an alert, where security call you, your next of kin and if they still can't find you the emergency services. So, always report back!

[edit] Aquarium users

After fieldwork one of the most dangerous places to work is the aquarium. You should always have conducted a Risk Assessment and been inducted into the safe working practice by a supervisor before working. There are two major risks, both easily controlled, the first is slipping. There are mops and buckets available, always keep the floor clean and dry, if you have a tank overflowing, stop it. If you see someone else's tanks overflowing, do not assume that they know about it, tell them!.

The second major risk is electrocution. We use pumps, chillers and special pieces of equipment that are powered from mains electricity. Most of them are very safe, but we take measures to avoid any risk, particularly as electricity and water do not mix! If you are working in a tank ensure that the power is switched off to any electrical pumps or other items that are in contact with the tank in which you are working and that any earthing rods are correctly installed.

If you have problems with aquaria, your first point of contact is your supervisor. Alternatively, contact Berwyn Roberts or Ian Pritchard the technicians. Remember, if there is anything wrong, especially with electrics, consult a supervisor immediately and also remember your risk assessments.

[edit] Sample storage and freezer locations

It is important that you fully label your samples and store them in the correct place. We have huge amounts of vials, bottles and sample bags, remember these are cheap, use them if we run out order more! Most important remember that your samples are VALUABLE!

Samples that are stored in Formalin, need to be kept outside in the locked cages. Take particular care as this is nasty stuff, full COSHH and Risk Assessment needed.

Frozen samples can be stored in either, the small freezer adjacent to door in CM101. There is a large fridge and freezer in WM308, as well as a large freezer in WM238, Beco.

Warning Warning: Remember LABEL your samples with your name, sample content and date.

[edit] Library

If there are materials that you need but we don't hold them in the library. Then we can do an interlibrary loan. Let Andy know, the link to the online forms are here.

[edit] Preparing pieces of work

When you prepare a piece of work, and you require feedback, then that is absolutely fine. It is important though to remember that supervisor time is in very short supply and you must produce a product that you are 100% certain is clear, correct and free of any grammatical or spelling mistakes (this also applies to email correspondence). A single piece of work will generate a single piece of feedback, supervisors do not have time to rebound multiple drafts back and forwards, however, if you require guidance on subsections of a thesis, and then submit the whole thesis for feedback, then that is OK but you will not get highly detailed feedback on areas that have already been read.

To summarise, for pieces of work:

  1. You must be 100% certain that your work is of high quality, it contains no minor mistakes or errors that are easily resolved with a proof reading session.
Personal tools

Lab wikis