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The fun stuff.

I have just celebrated my five-week anniversary of working with Quirine Kettering and her team. This blog post will be my attempt to catch up on some thoughts so far.

The team:
There are a couple post docs, some grad students, four of us interns working on projects under Quirine as well as a few other faculty members who have their own projects and work.  The three other interns are teamed up with a graduate student or post doc working on research, while I am working directly with Quirine on updating and revising study materials for the Northeast Region Certified Crop Advisor (NRCCA) test.

Though everyone has their own projects, and we work from different offices on the third floor of Morrison, the atmosphere is very open, helpful, chatty and welcoming. I wander into the other offices multiple times a day with questions or just to see what others are up to. Everyone takes lunch together which really helps build a feeling of comradery. We talk about current issues in agriculture, discuss people’s projects, catch up on the presidential race, and sometimes just chat about where we’re from. (Between everyone, the countries that are represented are The Netherlands, Greece, Iran, Nepal, China, Poland, Canada, and the U.S.) Working in this type of positive environment as been incredible. I think this is a truly unique team structure which Quirine has established; the other interns and I often remark that most of our past experiences in other labs or projects have had less community between members.
unnamed                                                                 Some office shenanigans.

What I do all day
The project I am working on with Qurine, updating and revising study materials for the NRCCA, has a lot to it, which I will write all about [in excruciating detail] for the next blog. As for what I do all day, that’s an easier question- I sit behind a computer. (Actually, two.)Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 10.41.52                                                               Where the magic happens.

Getting outside
This project has me behind a computer all day but thankfully there have been some opportunities for me to get my hands a little dirty. I have participated in three field days so far: small grains management field day at Musgrave research farm, organic grains field day at Love Lab, and seed growers field day at the NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn.

I have also lent a hand to some of the other projects Quirine’s team is involved with; helping with measuring and flagging a field in prep for planting, taking corn clippings for biomass analysis, scouting a stressed field for clues about the origin of stress, and transporting ground and sieved soil samples to the lab for aggregate stability analysis.

Besides field days and field work I have also gotten out of the office to meet with some of the different folks who are also involved with the NRCCA study materials. I enjoyed going to different buildings on campus and chatting with people from a range of disciplines.

            Flagging                                       Sampling                             Organic grains field day
                                                    Seed growers field day

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