My name is Taylor Hayes and I am a senior at Purdue University. I am majoring in Aquatic Sciences with a concentration in Freshwater and Marine Biology. I am focusing on stream ecosystem health during the FNR REEU internship. I grew up in a small town northeast of Indianapolis. I have always had a passion for wildlife and being outdoors and that passion still drives me today. My future goals include going to graduate school and completing my masters degree. Although I grew up in a land-locked state, my interest lies in working in the ocean. Specifically, I would ultimately love to work for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management and conduct research on coral reef health.
I found out about the REEU through fliers that were posted in different buildings around campus which prompted me to reach out to Megan for more information. The reason why I wanted to do the internship was that I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain more research experience, become a better mentor, and to get information about the graduate school through current graduate students and faculty. I have had research experience in the past. This past semester I worked in the Aquatic Ecology lab working on Asian carp; however, this was not own research, I was just volunteering to help. Through this internship, I will have to come up with, and execute my own research question. I believe this will be valuable for me in the future when I am going to graduate school. I am also excited to get to know and work with students outside of Purdue. I am interested to see their perspectives and ideas. The things I expect to gain from this internship include learning how to come up with my own research question, learning new sample techniques and practicing old ones, becoming more comfortable in doing statistical analysis, becoming a better mentor and leader, and gaining more insight into graduate school.