Sunday, November 24, 2019

STIP Student Alexis Orbeta Explores Ecology and Forensic Entomology through Microscopic Examination

Having just completed my first year of college, I was incredibly excited in starting my journey of research and learning new things beyond the typical classroom. Once I heard about the summer team impact projects, I knew I would love it. I immediately applied for the Ecology meets Forensic Entomology project because of my love for forensics.

I have learned many things in the duration of this project including classification of flies and how to conduct proper field work. The majority of our work includes examining flies under a microscope and identifying them to either the taxon family or to genus and species. I often think back to when I was younger and dreamed of becoming a scientist. I would cheer whenever my teacher would divulge away from the typical lecture style and allowed us to have a more physical approach. I loved looking at the different objects under the microscope or dissecting organisms to learn more about how they function. Now, I get so excited knowing that I am living my dream of learning new ideas. I gaze into my microscope knowing that it was my favorite instrument. Now, I have many more instruments to use and get paid to do it!

This research project will no doubt help me in the future. It gives me experience to put under my belt which is always a necessity in our competitive world. It also allows me to see things from a different perspective. Many believe science to be an incredibly straight forward thing. They think that a scientist will think of a question, create an experiment, then immediately find the answer. However, this is simply not true. Science is a winding road of possibilities. It twists and turns and pushes you into unexpected territory. Research allows us to explore this new territory without fear. It gives us a chance to ask questions and to ponder not only the “Eureka’s!” but also the “Huh, that’s weird...”. It is this reason why I am grateful for this project and for the opportunity to be a part of something great.