Rei Zhang ’21, Civil and Environmental Engineering
I interned for the Zhang microbial biogeochemical lab where I researched nitrogen fixation and its relationship to nitrogen availability. I learned protocols and procedures to help me gather data, including gas chromatography, chemical assays and techniques such as making media. With samples gathered in the field, we set up an experiment to monitor activity over about a week, periodically taking time points. I analyzed the data to determine relationships between nitrogen fixation and environmental levels of nitrogen. I had a great time learning and working in the lab. Beyond the basics of lab work, I learned to finetune protocols, adapt to and learn from failures, and make important judgements independently. I intend to continue my learning and growth as a scientist by exploring further applications of my research during the academic year.