OSCAR Student Emily Bohr Studies the Flow and Fate of Pharmaceuticals in the Potomac River
For my summer impact project, I am on a team of 10 amazing OSCAR students, 6 chemistry students and 4 ecology students, studying the flow and fate of pharmaceuticals in the Potomac River. I am on the ecology team, and more specifically, I study the invertebrates in the Potomac River! I first learned about this project when one of my favorite professors, Dr. Amy Fowler, told us about it during a lecture. As an environmental studies student, I was immediately interested in the opportunity of a paid research summer term under a professor that I looked up to! Since I am directly working with the environment, learning how to do field work and lab work that would be related to my degree, this summer is a great learning experience for what I want to do long-term with my career.
Each day at work is always different, which is another plus to my job! Since I work at the brand new Mason campus, the Potomac Science Center, I always have a beautiful view from any room I’m working in. On a daily basis, I’m either on a boat, working with my partner Alex to look through benthic (dirt from the bottom of the river that we collected earlier in the summer) or other samples we collected to log the invertebrates found in them, or helping the other two grad students, that also work in our lab, with their projects! Also, each week, we get really cool Mason faculty or even people outside of Mason that give us seminars about what they do and the projects they have!
One thing I learned this term is how much I love field work. Being on a boat or putting on waders to go out and collect snails directly from the water were the highlights of my summer, and definitely made the summer great (and some interesting looking tan lines too!) I definitely look forward to my career after Mason!