Monday, June 28, 2010

Alumni profile

Brian Warshay
REU '05
Jacque Mohan
Physiological Girdling of Forest Trees: Developments of a New Method to Understand Soil Respiration

Eastchester, NY

College and major:
Cornell University, Natural Resources & Environmental Engineering Technology (double major)

What you miss most about the REU program:
The people and friends met there and the good times we had after our work days were complete.

What you miss least about the REU program:

The mosquitoes and humidity.

What about the REU program has stuck with you:

My appreciation for the dedication and efforts that ecologists devote to their research and the sciences that support it, despite the long hours, backwards politics, and modest pay.

Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?

Yes. I still catch up with Jens Stevens fairly regularly and have recently been reacquainted with Katherine Lenoir.

Did your REU experience support or change your school/career plans?

Definitely. I actually learned that I did not want to pursue pure research as a career. I admire those who do but realized that I didn't have the intrinsic motivation for the meticulous field work and effort necessary to do research full time. It was an invaluable experience. I've never enjoyed something that I didn't want to do so much.

What are you up to now?

After working for three years as an environmental consultant I quit my job and am now attending the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, UAE studying for a masters degree in Engineering Systems and Management with a focus on renewable energy, sustainability, and biofuel life cycle assessments. I anticipate graduating in May 2011 and getting a job in sustainability consulting or another related field.

(Brian maintains a blog about his life in Abu Dhabi. Check it out!)

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

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