Friday, September 18, 2009

What are you up to now?

Jen Levye
REU '09

Mentor: Missy Holbrook, Jim Wheeler

Project: Implications of Sectoral Variation in Red Oaks and Red Maples on Sap Flow Measurements (abstract)
Hometown: Sharon, MA
College and major: Harvard College, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, class of '11

What you miss most about the REU program:
I miss the amazing people I met this summer. I miss being able to go on hikes through the woods after a day in the lab, and I miss my lab, with the awesome set-up we had going.

What you miss least about the REU program:
The mosquitoes. But more seriously, there were times when my job got kind of tedious - I won't miss the days spent in the basement soldering sensors, or sitting poring over spreadsheets for hours. It was still good experience though.

What about the REU program has stuck with you:
One, that I'm definitely going to go into a research based field where I can go out and do field research, rather than going to medical school. I think I'm more confident in my ability to ask research questions and interpret data, and I made amazing friends and will have wonderful memories of the summer.

Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?:
Absolutely! A group of us got coffee last weekend (and I'm dating someone I met at HF, so we're in touch rather a lot).

Whether your REU experience supported or changed your career plans:
Yes, changed them - I'm pretty certain I no longer want to go to med school but would rather pursue a PhD in Ecology or a similar field.

What you're up to now:
I'm in my junior year, right now trying to figure out what I'm doing next summer. I might be working in my REU mentor's lab at Harvard this year, and thinking about thesis plans. I might do my thesis based on research we started this summer, but even if I don't, I might be coming back to Harvard Forest for a couple of weeks to help out with Jim's project. Later, I don't know- probably grad school with some time off before that, either teaching or working in lab.

Want to see more alumni profiles? Check out our Harvard Forest REU alumni blog.

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