I am a graduate student in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I study algal ecology. My current research takes place in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, where liquid water is only present for several weeks of the Austral summer, and grazing by higher trophic levels is negligible or absent. As a result, the diatom flora is adapted to long-term desiccation, and flow magnitude and intermittency are strong selection criteria for the distribution of species. Here and elsewhere, accurate and consistent identification is vital to making the most out of long-term projects and comparisons across time.