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Best of Both Worlds

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After attending school in Chicago for the past two years, I took it upon myself to serve as a tour guide for the REU group. We have visited all sorts of Chicago must-sees, such as the Bean, Grant Park, and Maggie Daley Park. We even set up a picnic on the lakefront for the fourth of July to watch the fireworks from Navy Pier.  Now that we have our CBG badges, we are looking forward to taking advantage of our free admission into the Chicago museums. 

While the city of Chicago is fun and exciting, being able to walk through nature on the commute to the gardens is refreshing. Our first week as REU interns, we were able to attend events from the CLM internship program that took place at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The topics ranged from a seed symposium to a crash course in plant taxonomy– as someone who did not know much about plants before this internship, I can say that I gained some very useful and interesting information from these workshops.

Week 2 we started getting down to business with our individual projects. My project about diatoms involves prior knowledge about genome annotating and some different software/ programming languages, so I spent most of the week reading up on the topics I would be studying. Now I am starting to write my own python scripts and use software to help me understand important relationships between the non-coding regions of different diatom species!

I can't wait to spend the rest of my summer learning more about bioinformatics and exploring my favorite city!