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How/Why Research? I was overwhelmed as a first year on a large campus of how to begin research. I began with a work study position, though it took many months of effort. I subscribed to research/science listservs and read bulletin boards and heard about the Thailand Field site led by Dr. Richard Kamens. It was an environmental program focused on chemistry processes and engineering. I contacted Dr. Kamens during my first semester, and he said I lacked classes and would probably have to wait until my junior year. I was disappointed but determined, and I emailed and kept up with him. I pushed myself to take summer classes, and during my sophomore fall semester, he allowed me to enroll in his Thai Culture prep course. I also took my last semester of Chem and was able to secure my permission to attend the field site.

Research Experiences: My favorite thing in research was to learn technological skills. I learned Excel and R studio and how to browse through articles and how to collect necessary information for my research. I did this alongside other peers and it was so great to be supported during points I felt lost or frustrated. In research patience is definitely a virtue, but when you’re going for an end goal in something you’re really passionate about, the patience is worth it. It has been exciting to combine and learn to work with differing strengths and weaknesses of my peer and support group. I had to learn to ask for help; the best work is never done alone because the input of different minds is so important, and it was honestly great to be able to see different perspectives on the same topic and learn to make use of new tools that way.