Monday, May 30, 2011
In their first week, students participated in orientation where they learned important safety protocols for their lab and fieldwork. Students also learn orienteering skills using a map and compass in the forest and were educated on how to prevent tick bites throughout the summer. The orientation concluded with a walk through Harvard Forest led by researchers who introduced the students to the large variety of ongoing experiments located throughout the property.
Starting Tuesday morning, students began meeting with their research mentors, learning how to identify plants and vegetation, collecting samples in the forest for analysis, setting up experimental structures and teaching each other how to use statistical programs that they will need for their projects.
Rachel Brooks, a senior at the University of Vermont, with the guidance of her mentor, scientist Aaron Ellison, used pipettes to gather the inner contents of insectivorous pitcher plants in Harvard Forest’s Tom swamp, in order to study the larvae utilizing this unique habitat.
The Lyford grid is a 3 hectare permanent plot first mapped in 1969, and every 10 years since for over 40 years, allowing detailed analysis of population-level change over time.
With over 10 different research projects being conducted simultaneously, along with fun trips, special programming and seminars, this summer promises to be exciting!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
College and major: University of Texas-Pan American, class of 2008, Biology/Music
What you miss most about the REU program:
I miss the east coast forests, the fire tower (great for meditation & an easy get-away), afternoon thunderstorms, and all the wonderful people I met that summer.
What you miss least about the REU program:
The humidity and mosquitoes.
What about the REU program has stuck with you:
The field experience (botany/forestry) I gained that summer . It definitely got my foot in the door for other field jobs with agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and most recently, the U.S. Forest Service.
Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?
Yes, through Facebook and recently, I met up a few REU buddies in the west coast for some more outdoor adventures!
Want to see more alumni profiles? Check out our Harvard Forest REU alumni blog.
Posted by Harvard Forest at 11:52 AM