On 26th June my colleagues and I ventured out to Somerset House, to visit The Museum of Water by Amy Sharrocks. One of our volunteer leaders had already donated some water from Blackheath pond which she knew contained diatoms; our mission was to track it down!!
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How Lloyds Banking Group Change Managers helped to ‘Make a Difference’:
On Friday 13th June, a group of London GCM from Lloyds volunteered their Day to Make a Difference and descended on the Natural History Museum in Central London.
Focussing on tiny worlds, one group worked with Jovita and Edgley to help digitise our Thomas Comber diatom collection. Another group took part in a learning workshop to sort and identify microscopic sand shell samples (i.e. foraminifera).
The Natural History Museum houses more than 70 million specimens. They are all valuable and infinitely special in their own ways: some might be big and impressive, like the dinosaurs; others are very small, yet extraordinary, like diatoms.
In an earlier V Factor session Etienne kindly brought in a mystery specimen for identification by our specialists in the Angela Marmont Centre (AMC) and he's been waiting very patiently for his final V Factor session for an answer as all was promised to be revealed then!
A quick post to show off our first 'My species' samples collected by our current V Factor volunteers from their local areas. The samples will be left for one week to settle in preparation for creating a slide and hunting diatoms next week during V Factor! Fingers crossed for lots of microscopic goodies....watch this space!
So you can find diatoms in aquatic environments. But did you know you can also find diatoms in nail polish and toothpaste too?
When we think about climate change, normally what springs to mind could be rising temperatures and freak weather conditions. Our planet is definitely changing and we are pumping a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere – one big indicator of this was when the 400ppm CO2 measurement ‘milestone’ was recorded during May 20131. However, have you ever thought about what past climates might have been like and how you could find this sort of information out?
People often say that when one retires, one will have all the time in the world to paint, read and indulge yourself in hobbies. Contrary to this, I find it a challenge to find time to draw and paint at leisure as I am involved in many types of activities. Hence I am always looking out for projects that give me an excuse to sit myself down and engage in my art. As a volunteer in the Natural History Museum, I can often find some sort of inspiration to produce a thank-you piece, an end of project piece or a get well card which add more meaning to my work.
Along with volunteering in V Factor with the diatom collaboration at the Museum, Renee (one of our fabulous Volunteer Leaders) also attends a monthly meeting at an embroidery group.
This is a small group meeting on Saturday afternoons at a local school and together they form the Blackheath branch of the national Embroiderers' Guild. Members from this group previously produced some work for the first V Factor project on fossil corals and have now produced a new piece on diatoms. (pictured below)