Friday, October 22, 2010

Biology major benefits from summer internship experience

While 13 science majors stayed on campus this summer to experience full-time research, many AU students take advantage of off-campus internships. Rachael Glover (AU'11) is a Biology major (and this year's historian for AU's chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the biology honorary society) who spent the summer at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio. She found out about this after "hearing Dr. Parwinder Grewal talk at SEE-STEM last year, and ... classmates had interned there the summer before."

Rachael's internship project focused on urban ecology in Cleveland. "My group was concerned with analyzing the physical and chemical health of soil sampled from vacant lots in an impoverished neighborhood in Cleveland. Our hope for these lots was that they would be healthy enough to convert into Community Gardens, and in the long-run make the community more self-sustaining as far as food resources."

There were several benefits of this experience, Rachael says. "I really benefited from working in a group. I gained valuable field and lab experience, and I learned many new techniques. We were also required to write a proposal, a final research paper, and do presentations. This was very helpful for me to get up in front of people and talk about the project we were working on. From doing this internship, I was able to narrow down my career goals to something more ecological, and I have a new found interest in researching sustainability."

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