This week’s BEACON Researchers at Work blog post is by 2015 REU student Douglas Page.
My time at the Kellogg Biological Station working as a BEACON/NSF sponsored REU was an amazing opportunity to not only conduct research in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology, but it also gave me a chance to network with others who share my interests. Over the course of the program I worked in the Conner lab conducting plant research that has helped me to understand evolution and ecology. This summer has shaped me in ways I never thought possible. At first I didn’t know what to expect coming to Michigan from North Carolina, but after settling in I saw that Michigan has a lot to offer. I finally got to go to Chicago and Lake Michigan for the first time, camped on the beach, hiked through the Northern woods and so much more. I believe what has affected me the most here at my time at KBS are the friends I have made here.
Although we have only been here for a short time, all of us have become closer than I thought we could be. As our time here at KBS comes to an end I have come to realize how much of an honor it was to be a part of everything this place stands for. Looking back on this experience has made me feel pride in both myself and the work that I have done here. I hope to return one day to KBS; maybe as a researcher or graduate student. However, until that day comes I’ll accept taking the lessons I have learned here with me where ever I go. I understand the importance of programs such as this to the community and how vital it is for students like me to take advantage of them. By being here I feel like I am on a path which will take me closer to my goals in life. For example, I have begun to contact various Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites around the country to apply for different opportunities thanks to the support I got from the program at Kellogg Biological Station. I was not only made aware of the existence of these scientific centers, but people shared their experience on what I could do to better my chances of participating in them.
I have enjoyed my time here with so many new ideas and experiences I will remember for years to come. While I will miss my time and my friends here at KBS, I feel confident to move on in my endeavors in both my career in science and life in general. The adventures I have had really shaped me for the better, which I hope to instill in others as I lead by example. I am grateful for my opportunity to work and learn at the Kellogg Biological Station. Lastly, I would like to say to all the people who have made this summer one to remember, thank you and I hope to see you again.