And that’s a Wrap!

The last week leading up to the 16-21 August North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC, the Olympics of bird study conferences, see previous post) consisted of sporadic bursts of communication and new analyses from my family vacation in a cabin on a small lake in Maine. While this location was much better for catching Yellow Perch than it was for preparing for a conference the poster below was produced just in time to printed and shipped from Williamsburg to D.C.

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Summary of Summer Research

This summer I spent seven weeks conducting background research, combing through psychology measures, and building two psychology studies to prepare for data collection and analysis this coming school year for my honors thesis. All of this work will allow me to confidently implement my studies at the start of the fall semester rather than having to rush to build my studies and collect data by the end of the semester. I feel that my studies are much more well-developed than they would have been had I not had the opportunity to begin working on it this summer.

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A Different Role: Teaching GIS

A major component of my work this summer was implementing GIS trainings for my host organization. During my fellowship I conducted one for the staff at ANSA-EAP and another for the auditors at the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office in Albay.  Developing these trainings was a much more arduous task than I anticipated! Everything I previously knew about teaching GIS skills came only from my own experiences of being taught GIS – that is, in a formal class setting over the course of a whole semester.  About a week prior to the first session, ANSA informed me that I would only be given three hours per group – and so began the efforts to prune all training materials and guides I had accumulated to somehow create a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to GIS and spatial data concepts. I had to condense material into 3 hours of something that could be tangible to people totally new to the topic! Thus I was forced to really think about what few skills would be of most value to the trainees.

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Conclusion

It is crazy how fast these past 10 weeks have gone by.  As we wrap up, I am looking back and I am amazed at how much I have accomplished this summer. I am grateful for the opportunity to work full time. I have been able to focus on my research and push forward with my project. I learned a lot about my lab and what a potential career in research could look like. We will be able to publish on our results this upcoming academic year, which is pretty exciting. We have discovered a photocatalytic system that is comprised of earth abundant metals that is highly active for hydrogen generation from aqueous solutions. We have built this work off previous work in our group. This new work presents a great step forward in our research.

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