Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stretching Your Intellectual Legs

The following blog post was written by a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student following their internship at BIOS.

My name is April Oliver, and I study Biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University, from which I will be graduating next June. Our school motto is “Learn by Doing” and I have been doing a lot of learning and a lot of doing during my internship here at BIOS! For my project with the Bermuda Bio-Optics Lab, I have been characterizing water-soluble organic carbon in marine aerosols from the open ocean, hoping to lend some insights into the nature of atmospheric deposition of organic carbon.

We had a lot of fun exploring Bermuda. The locals are a very friendly, tight knit community. Everyone smiles and says hello, wants to know where we are from and what we are up to. The beaches here are amazing (and I’m from California).

The island is small, so you never miss an ocean sunset.

The BIOS station is also really beautiful. It is densely planted so that you feel like you’re living in a jungle paradise.

The resident cat was a favorite. He was very friendly, following us everywhere and sitting on our laps whenever we did work in the lounge.

One day we visited Blue Hole Park. It is a magical place. Lagoons surrounded by mangroves, caves with cold underwater lakes, and dense flora make it a fun adventure.

One of the most memorable experiences that we’ve had during our stay in Bermuda was the opportunity to go to TEDxBermuda. It’s nice to stretch your intellectual legs and hear some ideas from people outside your field of study. Let me tell you, we learned about some MIND-BLOWING things! The very first talk was from anthropologist Carl Lipo, who studied the indigenous people of Easter Island. He figured out how the Rapa Nui moved the huge monolithic human carvings, called Moai, for which Easter Island is famous for.

He said that the Moai were designed to be “walked” for many miles from the quarries which they were carved. I didn’t understand what he meant, until he showed this video which had me picking my jaw up off the floor.

I'm so grateful for this experience. The people I've met are fun, bright, and spontaneous, and my mentor (Natasha McDonald) is the best that I could have hoped for. I am sad to be leaving this beautiful place, and hope to return in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment