The Wonders Never Cease

This internship is such an amazing opportunity. As a first-generation college student, I was so proud to get this opportunity, made even more special because it takes place at the Garden. That’s the best part: being able to work in a place that’s so alive (literally), and with so many resources for research and education. I was most excited to see the Green Roof of the Plant Science Center, and it was truly a sight to see.

This blog will be published at the beginning of week 4 of the REU program, and so much has happened in this short time. Before the program began, my mentor and I discussed a project for this summer that would potentially complement a common garden experiment from the previous year: observing frost tolerance differences among seedlings sourced from three different regions. When I arrived, we started right away with trying to identify the best methods for this experiment. I was skeptical at first, because as it turns out, testing freezer temperatures is a game of patience and nuance. Finally, we narrowed down an acceptable temperature range, and initiated a pilot study. This pilot study is set to give us some guidance on how the frost tolerance experiment might go, an experiment meant to start this week. We are already seeing some seeds germinating, and are waiting for those transplanted to grow their first true leaves.

C. fasciculata seeds in agar plate.

In the meantime, I'm working on fine-tuning the methodology, and doing more research relevant to my project. The more research I read on seedling frost tolerance, the more I understand the potential issues and outcomes of the experiment. I have also been learning to use new (to me) equipment, and familiarizing myself with the labs at the Garden, which are maximally equipped to handle a wide range of projects. Honestly, the wonders never cease. I’m grateful, and so excited to be here. I feel fortunate that we (the interns) have engaged and enthusiastic mentors (and advisors), and a great facility, to make this summer a productive and memorable one.