Taylor Morgan, 2016, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Along with fellow intern Haley Lane, I spent nine weeks in central Kenya this past summer conducting both field and lab work for PhD student Drew Gower. We looked at local climate-dependent water availability from rivers flowing through and around Nanyuki, Kenya, coming off of centrally located Mount Kenya. Our field work included taking measurements of depth and water velocity along several locations of the river in order to determine flow, collecting water samples for analysis, and interacting and working side-by-side with local community members. Laboratory work included analysis of both water sample isotopes and water turbidity. Along with all of the fieldwork and research experience I gained this past summer, I also gained insight into a culture much different from my own, I am extremely grateful for this experience. The local community was welcoming and quite interested in our research, which I found encouraging and one of the most rewarding pieces of my work. This internship helped me realize all of the incredible directions I could take a with degree from the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. This was my first real experience conducting research, both through fieldwork and lab work, and I really enjoyed both of these parts of the research process. In the future I hope to incorporate these types of hands-on methods into my thesis and ideally into my career as well.