I am completing my Honors Project in Dr. Hawkes Sea-level lab after also participating in a Directed Independent Study on Holocene sea-level rise Newfoundland. My thesis involves picking and identifying agglutinated foraminifera from Willapa Bay in Washington. I am reconstructing co-seismic subsidence from paleo mega-thrust earthquakes.
During the summer of 2015 I participated in an Research Experience for Undergraduates at Old Dominion University. It was a fully paid internship from the National Science Foundation in which I studied the tide gauges, GPS stations, and satellite altimetry time series. I used MatLab programming to examine data related to sea level and subsidence on the east and west coast.
During the summer of 2016 I participated in the NOAA Hollings Internship in Hawaii. I studied shoreline change rates using aerial orthophotogammetry along Oahu beaches at the University of Hawaii - Manoa in the Coastal Geology Lab.
I started the spring semester of my freshman year in Dr. Hawkes lab. In my first semester, she was the instructor of my honors oceanography class. I asked her if she had any projects I could work on and she said yes! I have now been working in her lab for 3 years. I hoped I would be able to present at conferences and build up my resume with different lab techniques, and I did!
For my internships, I applied online in the hope I could diversify my research experiences.
I have learned so much! Mostly time management and how to work independently. Also I have been exposed to many different lab techniques and gotten to work on my communication skills at conferences. Further, I developed my writing and poster making skills. Parts of the research were difficult at times, and it is easy to get frustrated if things don't go smoothly. But that's science. You have to find the fun and like what you do. My research opportunities in my undergraduate career have really put me in a prime position to attend a great graduate school and do really cool work.
Jobs and graduate schools like that you have research experience and publications. I now have both. Being able to present at conferences is also exptremely important. You get to work on your communication skills as well as network with noted researchers in the discipline. When I was emailing potential advisors for graduate school, I mentioned by advisors' names and attached a CV of my research. I received very positive responses back and even some were excited I had worked with people they knew. Who you know and what you know are very important in finding success.