Stephanie Cook, 2018, Chemical and Biological Engineering
My project had three essential goals: to quantify the amount of organic carbon in the atmosphere 1 km above the open ocean (called the marine boundary layer), determine what percentage of it is water soluble, and characterize the chemical properties of the water soluble organic carbon as extensively as possible. Understanding the flux of organic carbon between the ocean and atmosphere is important because organic carbon is a significant portion of the carbon stored in the ocean (and thus out of the atmosphere and not contributing to climate change). During the internship, I was responsible for collecting air and rain samples. I became much more comfortable in a research setting and had to frequently use problem solving skills in determining how to achieve useful data and navigate the challenges presented by fieldwork. My internship also familiarized me with many of the most current trends in climate change research.