Update from Washington: More of the Same

Since I last posted, not much has really changed in terms of what I am currently working on. There are still many cards to be looked at for their relevancy to my project and I will then need to scan the important ones for analysis. I’ll admit that this can be at times a bit tedious, but I know that doing this is very important, because there is so much information that can be gained from these cards. It is imperative to gain an accurate understanding about what insects were around American chestnuts before blight was introduced in order to understand what impact blight has had on insect populations. As of right now, I have scanned around 3500 cards and will continue to scan more this week. I will hopefully be done with scanning in the next few days and will then discuss with my mentor what will be the next appropriate step. We will see what happens next!

In addition to my actual research, I want to talk about how much I’m enjoying my time at the Natural History Museum. I am having so much fun working here and meeting people from literally all over the world. It is fascinating to interact with the other interns from different departments and talk about our respective research projects. The tours that I mentioned in my previous post also continue to teach the other interns and me about the different fields of science that the Natural History Museum encompasses. For example, this past week I went on a tour of the mammals collections that the Smithsonian has. It was amazing to see the collections and to hear one of the scientists there talking about all they do and what they want to do in the future. I have definitely learned a lot this summer by simply talking and interacting with all of the workers at the Smithsonian and will be taking a vast amount of knowledge with me to William and Mary in the fall.