Soil and Water Summer Experience – Kondwani Kamsikiri
The UF/IFAS soil and water sciences department is offering students the chance to blog about their summer experiences. The students enrolled in one of three courses over the summer, for which they received credit: SWS 4905-Individual Work, SWS 4911-Supervised Research in Soil and Water Science, and SWS 4941 Practical Work Experience. This is Kondwani Kamsikiri’s summer experience:
My name is Kondwani Kamsikiri and I am majoring in agricultural sciences at EARTH University. This summer, I worked at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center. I spent my time with Dr. Davie Kadyampakeni I the Water and Nutrient Management Laboratory.
My role involved participating in general lab work. I collaborated in data collection, entry, and analysis, and soil and tissue sampling. I helped install sensors and data loggers; download sap flow, moisture, and weather data; root classification and biomass measurements; and leaf area index determination.
It was an exciting experience that contributed significantly to my professional growth. It challenged me and forced me to get out of my comfort zone and aim for greater heights. Technically, I learned how to set up greenhouse experiments, measure crop growth variables, collect soil and tissue samples and process them. After deploying sensors and downloading data, I used statistical software for data analysis. Also, I learned how to work in a team.
My coursework allowed me to fit into Dr. Kadyampakeni’s program and prepared me for lab work, especially in the field and greenhouse. Our academic model at EARTH University, which focuses on learning by doing, made it very easy for me to do the tasks that were assigned to me. Most of them were similar to those I did in my work experience modules at EARTH. Furthermore, the classes I took in soil science and irrigation, helped me to easily grasp new concepts. I was learning during the internship as I was building on previous knowledge.
My internship at UF was successful because it surpassed the goals I had set before starting the program. I was so thrilled by the support that I received, especially from my supervisor and the lab team. They are an amazing and highly talented team of experts who gave me the wings to fly in my intellectual journey. I would say this experience directed me to know the area of my strengths and to realize what I am passionate about in agriculture. The research project collaborations developed a great intellectual curiosity in me and a strong interest in research in the field of soil, water, and nutrient management.
Kondwani’s summer internship involved collecting data from the field and greenhouse.