What a rush these past two weeks have been! I am in awe of the speed at which this program is passing. With one quarter of the REEU internship complete, I have already learned so much. These past two weeks have been full of many fun and exciting memories, as well as extremely valuable and useful information and experience.
From touring various nature areas around West Lafayette, IN to learning about countless research projects going on around Purdue’s campus and getting the opportunity to develop my own research project, the days have passed by quickly with lots of excitement and work! What impresses me the most about my experience so far is the support, encouragement, and knowledge that is being provided by the mentors and coordinators of this program. I feel incredibly lucky to have the support system I do and have the opportunity to live and work with such a diverse group of individuals.
The work: My research partner, Emily Tauber, and I have spent the past two weeks brainstorming, developing, researching, re-brainstorming, re-developing, researching again, drafting, proofreading, and drafting several more times our very own research project. This long and tedious process has taught me a lot about developing research projects and all of the logistics and intricacies that goes with it. After much back and forth and “revamping”, our final project will be focused on determining whether different genotypes have an effect on canker susceptibility and morphological characteristics in Butternut trees. We have randomly selected 100 different Butternut trees within a plantation in Martell Forest to collect data and conduct analysis from.
The fun: Although we have been working A LOT these past few weeks, we have also been having a ton of fun! One of my favorite experiences so far has been climbing trees. For the first time in my life, I was hanging in a tree 60 feet above the ground. After being strapped into my harness, I began the journey of climbing a massive tree. It was incredible to “hang out” in the tree, take in the views, and see the world from a whole new level. I already cannot wait to go up again!
I am very excited and optimistic about the remaining three quarters of this program. It is incredible to think of how much I have learned and experienced already. I cannot wait to see how Emily and I’s research project turns out and continue learning from the faculty, staff, grad students, and other mentors within this program. Stay posted for further updates!