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Izzy Tseng

posted August 5, 2016

The day came. The day none of us were thinking about. The day where we would need to say goodbye. It was difficult for a lot of us to realize that eight weeks had already passed by. Our summer was gone in a flash as well as this last week. Everyone was busy getting ready to print their AGU posters to present on Wednesday. After more than one month of working on the poster, we were finally able to print them out! The whole process of coming up with this research project was definitely a great experience, especially with all the databases and other professional resources! This kind of opportunity is rarely given to high school students! When Wednesday came, posters were hung everywhere and we presented to five groups. Each one of the groups asked lots of questions. Lots of the questions left me very curious as to what more research could be done. Even the smallest details on my project had a lot of meaning to it! That is why science is so cool! There is an endless amount of questions that will forever keep me curious! That is one of the biggest reasons as to why I can’t wait to attend the AGU Conference in December! I can’t wait to learn from those asking me the questions!

All in all, this summer has by far been the best. I wouldn’t have gotten such a great opportunity anywhere else. I met so many passionate people and I was able to work in such a great facility! I’ve also learned so much about why the field is so great! I am really happy to know that so many people are as passionate for the environment as I am! ^_^ I hope, in the future, I will be able to see everyone again and be able to experience this great opportunity again!


I can’t believe only two and a half weeks are left...

posted July 20, 2016

I can’t believe only two and a half weeks are left of the internship! Throughout the past few weeks I have experienced and gone through so much with everyone in the internship! It will be hard to say goodbye on the last day. :(

Just two days after our trip to Capitola, we took another trip to visit the Bay. The cool breeze tingled my skin, powering up my spirit with enthusiasm! We boarded on a boat filled with marine animal experts and were introduced to three stations. My first station involved catching plankton with a plankton net, while the second station involved examining the mud we collected from the bottom of the Bay. I had some goosebumps looking at all those tubeworm shells! The last station was my favorite station. We were able to see the different types of marine animals living in the Bay. We used a net to catch the animals and were able to catch a baby shark and two bat rays. It was heartbreaking, however, to see the bat rays stinger bleed and struggle to untangle itself from the net. Overall, the trip gave me a great first-hand experience to marine biology. Before, I was unclear of what kind of work environment people of that field go through, but now I have a better feel as to what it is like! This boat ride definitely was a great way to learn more about the animals lurking in the Bay. I hope there will be more experiences like this in the future!

I have to admit, the camping trip was one of the biggest highlights from this internship! The experience reminded me of how important and beautiful Mother Nature is. The 2 hour drive was not a problem. Time passed by very quickly with some of us playing Pokemon Go and some of us sleeping like pandas. We got to our first destination and the sun was scorching hot. A lot of us were puzzled as to why we had stopped in the middle of the road. We were then told that there are lots of fossils on the side of the road. Millions of years ago, the area was filled with water. Amazing! After examining the fossils, we took some with us and headed to the Pinnacles campground. We set up our tents and had some rest. We then had delicious food and also REALLY yummy s'more cakes, all made by Dr. Noel! When the sun set, our group gathered around a picnic table. We talked and laughed about all our experiences in the internship. After that night, the bond between all of us had grown stronger and we were no longer strangers! In the morning, we all went for a hike. I was positive I would be tired after two steps up the mountain, however, I felt a lot of ambition that morning. I kept on telling myself, “I want to get to the top!”. Adrenaline filled my body and I started to love the hike up. I felt a big sense of accomplishment when I reached to the top and had loved the feeling of my muscles burning. Before, hiking had always been boring, but after a hike with everyone up the mountain, I realized how fun hiking can be! The landscape was so inspiring that I was hesitant to go back to the car! In addition to my starting interest in hiking, Pinnacles had lots of interesting rocks and trees. We were able to see a refrigerator tree that wasn’t cold. :( All in all, the camping trip was a great experience! Being outside in nature with your friends and learning at the same time is an exciting, worthwhile experience that I want to do more! With the internship nearing its end, I am treasuring each day and enjoying it with my all!

With my backpack and enthusiasm...

posted June 29, 2016

With my backpack and enthusiasm, I was ready for my first internship with the "Biodiversity" group at the Stanford Young Earth Investigators. Actually, I had been ready since the day I got my acceptance email from Dr. Saltzman! Environmental science has always been a big passion of mine. I have been exposed to environmental issues since I was young and haven’t stopped fighting for our planet since! Now that I was part of this internship, I was excited that I will be able to contribute not only to Dr. Noel’s work, but also to the science community!

The first few weeks of the internship was a worthwhile experience. We collected data from books on the different nematodes’ body sizes. I loved the feeling of being a researcher and I felt privileged to be able to do all this at such a prestigious university! However, that was not all! Every week, guest speakers would come in and share their job experiences. I learned a lot about the different, exciting jobs out there in the Earth sciences field! The talks were very enlightening and I had gotten a lot of insight from each of the speakers. One of the speakers, during our Wednesday activities, stated that humans have only explored 5% of the Earth’s oceans! Even with the technology we have today, there are still numerous of ocean organisms that are yet to be discovered! In addition to his intriguing stories about his research in Antarctica, he was also going to visit Mauritius, my family’s hometown! So exciting!!! From these speakers, including Dr. Noel, I was able to learn about why they’ve become so passionate in what they are doing today. It was so inspiring to see such intellectuals’ have so much enthusiasm in their research and in contributing to the science community! Because of them, we are able to know the things about the planet today!

Just this Monday, our group went on a field trip to Capitola! This has been one of the biggest highlights so far! Not only was I able to see real­life fossils, but also learn about the origins of the shells and other fossils! Seeing it in person was even more intriguing than seeing it on TV! All in all, the experience was very memorable! I can’t wait for what’s ahead of me in this internship! I wouldn’t have been exposed to the science world from a scientist’s perspective if it weren’t for this program!