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  • Alyssa Cepeda

Alyssa's Recap - Week 7

binoculars overlooking the grasslands

We have finally completed our second to the last week of this REEU internship. Time really flies by when you’re working hard and having fun. I’ve experienced so many new things during my time here and I have definitely learned from them as well.

For many of the other groups, this week was focused on organizing and analyzing their data from their research projects. For Garret and I, this week was the last week for us to do field work until we could get into organizing our data! So far, we have completed two rounds of bird surveys, collected soil invertebrates from a total of 110 pitfall traps, and completed vegetation surveys of all our 22 transects. It has been A LOT of work! Still, it was a bittersweet feeling returning my field vest and waders. I genuinely enjoyed being outside all the time and being surrounded by nature and learning more and more about it every time I’m out.

From waking up at 6AM to do bird surveys to walking through stinging nettle and thorny shrubs, it was all a great experience regardless. I’ll miss spending the quiet early mornings out in the forest listening to the birds singing and calling.

For our last weekend in Indiana, Megan took us all out to White Rock and we got the opportunity to cliff dive. My favorite part was ziplining and then dropping myself into the water halfway through. I still don’t know how I got the nerve to do that but it was super fun! I woke up to a super sore body but it was all worth it. It was a great last weekend here.

Now— we are going on to our last week! Garret and I will be doing more of our data analysis and presentation preparation. I’ll be enjoying the air conditioning and being indoors for now. I know it won’t be long till I want to be out again. Till next time!

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