Researching Ecotherapy: Some Interesting Discoveries!

Darrien (my research partner) and I spent much of our time this summer compiling scientific research on different fields within ecotherapy. These include: animal-assisted therapy, benefits for children, economic benefits, exposure to greenspaces (including living near greenspaces), forest bathing, gardening, green exercise, indoor plants, indoor light therapy, viewing images of nature, window views of nature, nature views, nature walks, negative ion exposure, plant scents, sounds of nature, and wilderness therapy. I had not heard of several of these research topics before this summer, so it was interesting to learn how widespread the research in ecotherapy is, especially because it gets very little attention or acknowledgment.

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Final Research Summary

My summer research at the Healthy Beginnings Lab has been an enriching, engaging, and incredibly educational experience. During the 10 weeks that I spent at the lab, I constantly gained a new perspective on the difficult conditions of incarcerated pregnant mothers. While I started out in a different area of research, I was lead to a highly suitable research topic for myself, especially considering the fact that I have a profound interest in maternal health. The background research that I conducted on the negative outcomes of maternal depression in the general context of pregnant women, and later on incarcerated pregnant women truly opened my mind to the challenges and dangers that depression during pregnancy can result in.

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Final Summary

This past summer has been an incredible experience. Not only did I create a database and learn about the vital role Asian American WWII veterans played in our military, I learned about the deportation of veterans. I was given the opportunity to explore a new area in research and asses our nation’s perception and treatment of immigrants. I learned about the impact expanding the definition of “aggravated felonies” has had on immigrants and the complexities and confusion around military naturalization. My interests are in the social sciences but am glad that I got to approach my research from a legal perspective.

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Fun with Phage (and TEM)

This coming week I plan to use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to look for bacteria cells visibly infected by phage in biofilms I collect from the Crim Dell Stream on campus. This is exciting to me because I’ve always wanted to use the electron microscope and now I have a reason to!

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Next Step: Titanium Dioxide

During my last week of research, I started a new phase of my project. After completing the study of the electron transfer dynamics of the dye Rhodamine 560 on glass, I moved on to studying the behavior of this dye on titanium dioxide. While we can learn a lot from the studies of R560 on glass especially when we compare it to other rhodamine dyes on glass, that entire phase of experimentation was just a control for comparison with the results on titanium dioxide. In actual dye-sensitized solar cells, the application of this research, titanium dioxide or some other semiconductor is necessary for the generation of electricity.

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