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.
A week into coming to Chicago I went on a research trip to Door Country, Wisconsin. The cabin we stayed in turned into a make shift lab and it was the most authentic field research I have ever experienced.
I get a lot of blank stares and quizzical looks when I try to tell people about my project.
"You're working with...what?"
"What is that?"
"Did you say...*hot* moths???"
The internship is entering its fourth week and the projects of both my mentor and I have developed nicely. Now that we have developed a general timeframe for the rest of the summer, we hope to get answers to our questions in a timely fashion.
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.
Though I go to school in Chicago, there is still a lot to see and do and I have enjoyed being here. I am also having fun with my project: we have done both field and lab work and I am slowly building useful skills. There is still a lot to do but I am excited for the rest of the summer!
The first three weeks of my REU experience have been great! I am working with Jordan Wood. Together we are working with Quercus Oglethopensis(Oglethorpe Oak). In our project we are going to look at the genetic diversity within ex situ and in situ populations. This is because living collections at botanic gardens/institutions are not conserving the genetic potential of species.
Growing up in Minneapolis, I’ve visited Chicago a fair share of times. When I was offered this internship at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, I was thrilled for the chance spend a summer living in one of my favorite cities and conducting genetics research. Exploring Chicago has not disappointed, but research at the Gardens has far exceeded my expectations.
An overview of my first two weeks as a Chicago Botanic Garden REU intern!