Harvard Forest- Petersham, MA
Major: Computer Science
The Harvard Forest is a long term ecological research site that hosts a summer REU program for students who are interested in biology, ecology, computer science and engineering, and want to obtain experience conducting guided independent research. I worked with a project that focused on the idea of maintaining data provenance with software tools. It was a computer science based project and, since I am a Computer Science major, it was very ideal and interesting for me. I was mentored by two established researchers at the Harvard Forest who have been doing this project for 5 years with the summer REU students, and delivered a power point presentation of our work at the end of the summer symposium.
As an intern, I was introduced to the project and the problem and had to develop my own question and research direction with help from my mentors. I became more proficient with Java programming learned how to write a research proposal and publishable abstract. I developed skills in discussing work with my peers and other researchers. I gained so much more than I thought I would through this internship. There were weekly seminars that I attended in which I learned more on graduate school, power points, scientific posters and field work.