Ravensbrück: Week 3

The majority of my work this week focused on secondary sources. I read and took notes on Jack Morrison’s Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp, 1939-1945. Published in 2000, this is the first comprehensive book on the camp written in English. It is similar in content to Helm’s text which I read in my first week of research. Although Morrison references the Rabbits only sparsely through his piece, he does focus quite a bit on relationships and friendships between prisoners in the camp which I found particularly useful. One of his central arguments is that companionship among inmates could increase the chance of survival. Another asset of Morrison’s book that I found interesting was the contrast between images he provides throughout the book. The images can be separated into two categories: photos of the camp taken by Nazi officials to be used as propaganda, and drawings completed by prisoners. Images in the former group depict healthy women working in a pleasant environment and were displayed to visiting delegations to underscore the camp’s decent conditions. The whole of Morrison’s study emphasizes that the depictions in these photos were far from the reality in Ravensbrück. The latter group of images provide a valuable visual glimpse into a handful of prisoner’s thoughts and impressions.

[Read more…]

Week 6

This week I wanted to highlight the importance and difficulty of recording and translating the responses that were in Spanish. I feel like it is important to make sure all voices of multiple backgrounds are heard. If we focus research on a particular group, the population will not gain maximum benefits when trying to solve problems in an attempt to improve the conditions of health systems/programs/institutions.

[Read more…]


After a stretch of experimental stagnation, I was able to overcome my struggles and again began collecting usable data. My lab was able to order a new antibody that allowed for my cells to be more easily observed through microscopy which greatly helped me obtain new viable trials and collect more and better data. I also sharpened my lab techniques and slide preparation that allowed for better observations of my cells. This new resurgence in my experimentation has boosted my morale and has allowed me to further my individual experiment.

Meeting Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (among other things)

Hi again!

It is hard to believe that my time here at the Department of State is coming to close. Continuing with the general trend of my time here, tons of things have been constantly going on!

[Read more…]

Introducing Longhorned Milkweed Beetle Larvae to The Milkweed Plants – Blog Post 5

The beetle eggs have started hatching (again)! Instead of transferring the long grass stems from the beetle habitats to the kiddy pool, I added the stems to an incubation chamber in the greenhouse. I had hoped to use the roots of the kiddy pool plants as food for the larvae so that they could grow a little bit bigger before I introduced them to our experimental plants. Due to the time constraints of the summer research session, I am introducing this second set of larvae directly to the experimental plants and allowing them to feed for eleven days. These are the experimental treatments: Control – no larvae, Low – 2 larvae, Moderate – 4 larvae, and High – 8 larvae.

[Read more…]