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Name: Rachel Quindlen
Major: Environmental Science, B.S., Marine Science minor
Expected graduation date: August 2017
Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Why did you want to go to the Field Site?
It came highly recommended to me by my peers and professors. I had talked with a few of my professors about how I wanted to pursue marine science and heard many great things about this field site. The hands on experience and one-on-one research with a professor in our field of interest is what drew me to this field site as well. I also enjoy living on the coast and learning about the unique processes that occur there.

What specifically are you doing at the Field Site?
From August to December I am taking 4 classes along with my fellow IMS peers. The other class is an independent research working in the Rodriguez lab on a project complementing the research of PhD student, Justin Ridge. We collected three sediment cores in the Shallotte River Estuary from two oyster reefs and a saltmarsh. I am processing these cores in the lab, examining shell/organic content and conducting grain size analysis down core. This will tell us how these habitats originated and developed through time, and I will be able to compare my results with cores collected from other estuaries in North Carolina.

What has been the most impactful experience you’ve had while at the Field Site?
My favorite experience so far has been actually going out in the field with the other members of the Rodriguez lab. We had lots of fun and I got to participate in some great field work. The hands on learning aspect really brings together so many ideas that we’ve talked about in my previous classes. Also, living in the environment that we are studying is a really great aspect that ties together the whole experience here.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from your experience at the Field Site?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned here is that no one accomplishes anything alone. The field site incorporates a lot of collaboration and teamwork, which is a great skill to have. Many of our classes are multidisciplinary and require crossovers of many different fields of science. This aspect of our classes here is great because it opens us up to being more aware of scientific problems and how they span more areas of study than one might have originally thought.

Do you have any advice for other students who are considering going to the Field Site?
If you have any interest at all in marine science, apply for this field site! The professors are amazing, and the community is very close-knit and welcoming. This is one of my favorite things about the IMS field site in Morehead; you get lots of personal interaction with people who are doing great things in the Marine Science field, which is an invaluable opportunity.

Anything else to share?
If you get a chance, sign up for the scientific dive class before the semester starts! The dive class was hands-down one of my favorite things that I have ever done and I hope to continue using this skill as a hobby and a tool for science.

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