Final Summer Blog Post: Natalie Curtis and Beyond

This summer was eye-0pening for me in an array of different ways. Not only did I have the opportunity to do my own independent research, which I’m immensely grateful for, but I also jumped far out of my comfort zone through the process of the research. Using the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Research Center for Cultural Folklife I was able to really narrow in on a more relevant and specific Honors Thesis topic, the study of the impact of female ethnographers/ethnomusicologists on ┬áNative American Healing and Ceremonial Music.

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Characterizing the Drosophila Germline Stem Cell Niche: Future Directions

It’s been about 3 weeks since leaving campus and pausing my research project for now. Reflecting back on my summer of research, I am happy with the progress that’s been made. I helped develop a new process for imaging gonads in vivo using phytagel, found a type of FBS that supports gonad differentiation ex vivo, and optimized the tracking procedure for specific cell types within the gonad using Fiji Track-mate software. There were also come set-backs this summer. It was discovered that the flies used for imaging were contaminated. It was very important that we realized this though so that we can expand a clean line of flies for use in future experiments.

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Further Research on Natalie Curtis: Family Influences

After looking through some of the questions on my last post, I thought I would look deeper into Natalie Burlin’s familial background. As aforementioned, she was born into an affluent family in New York City during the late 19th century. Interestingly enough, Theodore Roosevelt was a family friend of the Burlins. In fact, when she ran into some regulatory issues┬áin an attempt to research the communities at the Hopi Reservation, Roosevelt pulled some strings so that she could continue her work.

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Summer Summary

Going into summer research this year, I had no idea what to expect. For the past three years, there had been at least one more experienced student to share the work and provide guidance, but this summer I was the only one on my project. Even though I was very nervous at the beginning, it ended up being a great experience because it forced me out of my comfort zone. Since the only other student in the lab was on an entirely different project, I had to become much better at explaining the core concepts involved in my work, while also learning a lot about her art conservation project. I also became better at speaking up and going to my PI with questions when I was unsure about aspects of a new procedure.

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Look Back at July: Secondary Reading and Different Looks at the Victorian Era

July flew by for me. I spent the month getting secondary reading done, taking more intensive notes on my core novels, and even doing a little bit of drafting (!).

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