Before this summer I was trying to decide what in particular I wanted to research, and how I could use that experience to better my future and the lives of those around me. I eventually decided on soil research, as I believe agricultural questions as well as any plant-related question can be answered through soil analysis.
So far my summer has consisted of learning the basics of soil analysis, and how to store/process the results. One of the very first few steps (after sampling) of beginning soil analysis is to filter the soil through several filters...which can take some time. A lot of time; I've already spent countless hours staring at soil as it maliciously takes its time to fall through the differentiating micrometer intervals. Although it can be tedious, it is necessary-and it only happens after an adventure.
While epic adventurers have suffered sword fights and arrows shot at them, I had to suffer a similar journey: navigating my way through thorn bushes and hordes of ticks. It has been so much fun to traverse my way around specific heavily vegetated parts of the garden for sample collection. One of the days I (regrettably) decided to collect some samples it was over 90 degrees. After two hours of that torture my fair-skinned self decided to resign to the air-conditioned safety of the lab for some analysis.
This experience has been amazing so far. I've learned a lot and have met many amazing people. I'm hoping to learn as much as I can and to contribute to the scientific world.