In these past two weeks, I’ve learned more about the process involved in conducting research. After first discussing ideas for projects, and not being sure even where to start, my group finally landed on an idea we liked. I felt that looking at how habitats determine the distribution of bird species based on their diets was a unique idea that still took inspiration from previous work. This actually made me very excited to do the project, and I felt that I could rest comfortably for just a moment before the real work started.
However, since that point, I have felt rather rushed to work on this project. I can’t really tell if this is a sense of urgency that I’ve imposed upon myself because I’m easily stressed, or perhaps because this project is a bit compressed in timescale compared to most formal research projects. Despite this, it has been interesting to have to think about and plan a research project in detail. While it is enjoyable to think innovatively about our methods and how we want to get the results we need, I’ve found myself rather exhausted at the end of this second week. I’m excited to begin field work, but the planning and early paperwork stage has been draining.
I’m also curious to see how the workshops with the high school interns go. Interacting with younger folks can be intimidating for me, but I’m optimistic and trust it will go well. My hope is that they will take the activities seriously and that everything will go well. I also want them to learn a lot while they are with us, and hope we can introduce them to many aspects of natural resources that I never even had heard of before attending Purdue.
On a note not entirely related to research, I’ve enjoyed getting to know my fellows in the internship! It has been interesting to learn one another’s interests and get a feel for everyone’s personalities. The team-building exercises helped us break the ice and we’ve become more comfortable working and spending time as a group ever since. I think we interact and get along well, and I’m excited for us to experience what this internship has in store together.