During the winter break of 2017, I assisted my professor on learning about a new equipment known as the ion chromatogram in the lab. I learned how to use the ion chromatograph as well as create necessary components for the data acquisition process. I would investigate the ion levels in local stream water. From there, my interest in finding out how water quality is affected by land use developed. Participating in this project has been allowed me to see the overall impact of land use across different seasons on the quality of water.
When I think about my long-term goals, I believe it will play a large role in the direction I am aiming towards. I hope to one day attend medical school and laboratory experience is a necessity. This project has not only given me an opportunity to research something I enjoy but also provide me with laboratory experience that I may share when I apply to medical school.
On a weekly basis, I run lab tests that include finding pH, turbidity, conductivity, alkalinity, and total suspended mass. In addition, I would run each sample collected- which is collected biweekly- through the ion chromatogram.
What I discovered this term is that there are always set backs with researching. Through my research process, I have experienced multiple set backs that keep me incapable of moving ahead until the problem is resolved. While I realize that these issues do hold me from finishing my research in a timely manner, it allows me to learn that research doesn’t follow a timely schedule and that patients areimportant in the research process.