Eskender McCoy, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

As an intern in a Princeton Environmental Institute research laboratory, I worked to identify the effect that future carbon dioxide levels will have on the health and growth of both nitrogen fixing and non-nitrogen fixing tropical trees. Half of the summer I was working in a lab on the Princeton University campus. While there I spent my time preparing and analyzing plant and dirt samples (collected during last summer’s growing season) to identify how many nutrients were absorbed and where they were allocated within the plant. I spent the second half of my summer at a field site in Panama, collecting and processing plants that had been planted earlier in the year. Over the course of this internship I was given insight as to the way researchers design experiments in order to assess the future impact of climate change. I also gained hands-on knowledge of how to set up and maintain an experimental field site. This internship has not only given me experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to future work that I will undertake within my major, it has also reinforced my interest in ecological conservation and climate change.