Former REU summer intern Devan Fitzpatrick (summer 2015 & 2016):
For the last two summers I have had the pleasure of working with Alyssa Shiel’s lab group at Oregon State University as part of the REU program funded by the National Science Foundation. I worked on two different projects focusing on the use of lichens and moss as environmental biomonitors for anthropogenic metal pollutants. The first summer I researched the effects of train pollution and analyzed the contribution of coal cargo to pollutant concentrations in the Columbia River Gorge. The second summer I focused on creating a dynamic compartment model to quantify the relationship between the concentrations of metals in the atmosphere and the concentration of metals found in moss tissues.
I choose the Oregon State University REU program because I wanted to gain experience with the entirety of the research process. I was able to work with a dynamic team creating proposals, conducting field work, preforming laboratory studies and presenting research at the National Geological Society of America Conference. Participating in innovative research with real world implications was rewarding. I enjoyed working with Professor Shiel’s lab group, and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I have made numerous networking connections, met some of my best friends, and had the pleasure of working with a dedicated, energetic professor. Due to my positive research experience, I plan to attend graduate school and obtain my Masters degree.
Former REU summer intern Kali Melby (summer 2016):
In the summer of 2016, I worked with the Shiel group as an REU funded by the National Science Foundation. As an REU, my research focused on using lichens as bioindicators of air quality by evaluating temporal trends, sources and relative contributions of lead in the Columbia River Gorge. In September, I had the opportunity to travel to Denver, CO and present my research findings at the Geological Society of America Conference with the assistance of the REU program.
I wanted to apply my cumulative, theoretical coursework and gain research experience, so I chose the REU program at CEOAS. The summer was exciting because I had access to laboratory facilities, techniques and incorporated field work. It’s a pleasure to collect samples and work in such a beautiful area! Furthermore, Alyssa’s interactive approach, along with the support and collaboration between other faculty members, lab groups and REU students made my research experience rewarding and successful. I really enjoyed working with the Shiel and Keck labs and their support and encouragement is unparalleled. I will be returning to CEOAS this summer, joining the Shiel group as a graduate student. As a graduate student, I will be continuing the work from this summer and other exciting geochemical research!