SarahKeith Valentine - Biogeochemistry Lab

Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC


I have learned an incredible amount this summer in the Biogeochemistry lab at SERC (during my first summer of REAL SCIENCE RESEARCH). The best part has been my experience working with the technicians in my lab. Their dedication to the work and research was a great source of inspiration each day, and their enthusiasm was contagious! I learned a lot about myself this summer—I found that I like being out in the field and that I enjoy working with instruments, and I even like working with radioactive sulfur-34. I have learned that research means long hours and hard field work, but it also means little triumphs with operating the gas chromatograph, and learning to get excited over good data. Before I came to SERC I would never have imagined myself really liking lab work, but this summer has shown me how gratifying it can be— when you have a project to be excited about, rather than a grade to earn in a lab class. I only wish that I was going to be here longer, to see the data I helped collect become a part of the big picture the Biogeochemistry lab is trying to put together.

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