Summer on a Shoestring


Four Weeks With MELNHE, getting sappy! Tales by Jessie Smith!
August 3, 2015, 3:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My name is Jessie Smith. I was fortunate enough to spend a short 4 weeks as a part of the MELNHE Project summer internship crew. With only my freshman year at ESF behind me and no prior field experience, I was both nervous and excited to travel the 9 hours from New York to New Hampshire for the internship. My nerves soon disappeared once I began meeting the other project interns. Some were grad students, or had just received their degrees, or were at varying levels of undergrad. Even though most of the interns were more experienced or had obtained more knowledge than what I had after one year of college, I realized that we were all in Bartlett for two common reasons: our love for the environment, and our willingness to keep learning, despite the previous knowledge or experience that we may or may not have already had. So with the initial nerves out of the way, all that remained was the excitement to learn.

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I was a part of the sap flow project along with Brigid (grad student) and Isaac (undergrad) and together we had the responsibility of constructing sensors and implementing them into all nutrient plots in a given stand. There was a learning curve that took place on almost every new aspect of the project. I learned how to write a research proposal, how to efficiently build sensors, how to choose the best trees and how to tap them for the sensors, and how to connect everything together into a functioning unit. I learned why it is important to monitor sap flow, and how our sensors were able to monitor it. I speak for Brigid and Isaac as well when I say that I learned how challenging it can be to conduct research under a low budget, especially when it is a new topic. We worked through the obstacles as a team (go team wolfpas!). It is unfortunate that I had to leave early and miss the completion of setting up C6 and the data collection that came with it. I know Brigid and Isaac (and now Nick) will continue to overcome any new obstacles and successfully finish the project. I wish you guys luck!

Aside from the great working experience I had, everything off the job was just as rewarding. It was so nice becoming friends with ten new people. We had a lot of fun times together. I wish I could have been around to participate in the Secret Santa Christmas and every Friday night holiday after that. Those four weeks would have been completely different if the people I shared it with weren’t so great. Being in the White Mountains was amazing. Every weekend was a new peak to climb, or a new part of the river to explore. I will definitely be returning to that area of New Hampshire. I truly value my time as being a part of the MELNHE crew, not only for the field experience I gained, but for the new people I met and the opportunity to explore a new beautiful part of the country.

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