Internship Series: Central Michigan University

Anna Barcala
CAS ’20 | Marine Science
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Researcher

CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities? 

Anna: I helped to come up with and plan the project that our team worked on for ten weeks, sampled nutrients daily, filtered all the nutrient samples, and analyzed and presented the findings for total nutrient dynamics.

CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences? 

Anna: For me, as a scientist, learning the process of working on a study and how to make the research count will be the most beneficial. The experience of setting up my own project and working on a team are skills that apply to every type of internship or hands-on experience.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your summer experience?

Anna: We did midnight zooplankton tows to test if there was a temporal difference in zooplankton abundance. Wading through the water in complete darkness, while it was at its most calm, is something I will never forget.

CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?

Anna: I do not want to study water chemistry; I already knew that. However, I did learn a lot from the experience about what getting a Master’s and a PhD mean. I did not realize all of the things that you could do with either, and I did not realize the limitations that both bring. Learning this expanded my ideas of what I could do with a PhD, but it also opened my eyes to careers that you can no longer have with a PhD. I think I know less about what I want to do after having gone through the program, but this is mainly because now I know that there is so much more that I could do.


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