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 Annabel Schreiber’s summer experience:
My name is Annabel Schreiber and I am a sophomore UF environmental science major. This past summer, I participated in the Nature Coast Biological Station Summer Internship where I was paired with Dr. AJ Reisinger’s Urban Ecosystems Ecology Lab. I primarily worked with doctoral student Audrey Goeckner on her research looking at nutrient and greenhouse gas saturation in urban stormwater ponds.
At the beginning of the summer, I went with Audrey and fellow intern Katie to collect dry season samples at Lakewood Ranch, a residential community in Bradenton. We sampled from 15 different stormwater ponds in the community. We did this at three different depths, depending on the stratification of the water column. We also sampled natural sites at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station for comparison. We analyzed the samples for dissolved N2 gas concentration, CH4 and CO2 concentration, nutrient and organic matter concentration, and chlorophyll-a.
I learned many new skills and common lab techniques during my internship. This includes using an Aqualog spectrofluorometer, extracting chlorophyll-a, the headspace method for collecting gas samples, and so much more. This experience also taught me a lot about the process of doing research. It was especially interesting since I had never done anything like this project before. I am very grateful for this opportunity. It taught me so many new skills, introduced me to some great people, and influenced my academic and professional goals immensely.