Kayanna Turner: Week 1 Recap
This week really just flew by faster than I expected. We spent the first few days getting to know each other, including my fellow interns and the various mentors we will be working with throughout the program. We also got to go hiking and tour the field sites we will be working at to get a better sense of the types of research projects we could design. I got to meet Dr. Marisol Sepulveda and Evelyn, the faculty member and graduate student mentor, respectively, that Grace and I will be working with for our project.
Honestly, it was very overwhelming at first. There was a lot on the itinerary for each day and I had never participated in a program like this previously, so I never know what to expect. The last half of the week consisted of lots of different trainings we needed to complete including field and lab safety, and meetings with our mentors to start developing our research projects. I learned a lot about the behind the scenes logistics that need to occur before research can even begin, and it really opened my eyes to how well-thought-out and planned every research project must be.
At the end of the week, Megan was gracious enough to take us to the Indiana Dunes National Park, both as a reward and a learning experience. We got to hike around the dunes and were taught how to lead interactive educational hikes. I also got to play around in Lake Michigan and we even got to stop for ice cream on the way back to West Lafayette. Hopefully, I will be able to use what I learned during our extension work with a local high school next week and get them interested in natural resources or even the environment. I’m also very excited to continue developing my research project and start testing out methods next week once all of the required materials come in to build water samplers.