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Jackelyn Gonzalez

Goodbyes are Never Easy

posted August 08, 2014

It’s been two days since the program ended, and it feel like it has been weeks. It feels weird not waking up early in the morning and not seeing any of my wonderful peers in the classroom doing data collection or working on projects. It’s amazing how fast we all came together and became a family. Everyone was so unique and we all had something different that made us the awesome group we were.

As unreal as it may sound, this summer was one of the most productive summers I’ve had in my entire life. I met so many important people, learned so much about new things I had never really looked into, and even created my own research project with the best partner ever, Jennifer!

The project was a challenge, especially since R gave us a hard time, but Noel would always be there to help us and guide us along to completing it. In the end, we felt very accomplished and happy with our creation.

This experience has left me with many unforgettable memories, and I owe it all to Jenny, for giving me the opportunity to attend; Noel, for always being so giving (I’m talking about both the help and heaven-like cakes); and my amazing fellow interns, for making this summer one of the best. There was never a dull moment with you guys. :)

Field Trips

posted July 22, 2014

The last couple of weeks into the program have been full of fun and interesting events which made me realize this is all going by so fast! Our first field trip was to UC Berkeley, where we got the chance to look at a huge collection of fossils. Within these were some dinosaur bones which were surprisingly heavy, and even a camel bone. Random, I know right. We also helped sort out some fossils based on their species. Later on we walked to see how the Hayward fault affected the stadium and a nearby creek. It was cool seeing how the creek changed over time so precisely.

Our next field trip was to Pinnacles National Park, where we stayed to camp for one night. It was super fun and exciting because camping has always been one of my favorite things to do during the summer, and now I got the chance to do it with some amazing people! We went on a strenuous hike that made us sweat like crazy and finish our water bottles by the time we got to the top. On our hike, we saw different types of rock, most of them being volcanic. When we finally got back, we set up our tents and had some of Noel’s awesome s'more pie which tasted like heaven in your mouth. The next morning we got up early to move on to our next adventure which was hunting for fossils in different outcrops by the freeway in the Salinas Valley. We found many fossils including bivalves, brachiopods, and crabs. Overall, I was really happy to have been able to be a part of this awesome trip, and I just wish time would slow down a bit.

Just the Beginning

posted Jun 29, 2014

I've been at Stanford for only two weeks and I've already learned so much. I can't imagine how much more is to come in the next couple of weeks. Learning something new, doing a fun activity, or even just the simplicity of spending time with so many wonderful people definitely makes waking up at 5:30AM and taking three buses every morning to get here worth it. I try to think about what I would be doing if I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to receive this internship, and I always come to the conclusion that it wouldn't be anything as useful as this.

Something that was new and interesting to me was the activity where we learned how to use GIS. I learned more about the benefits of Google Earth and all of the different ways to use its amazing features. Also, I understood more about how the data that maps provide is used and interpreted in various ways. Maps not only show us locations, but can also show population, ethnicity, climate, and pretty much anything else. This activity was cool because we got to make our own tour of San Francisco from Pier 39 to the Golden Gate Bridge and we ultimately "drowned San Francisco". Overall, I'm glad we got the chance to do this because I'm not really familiar with different computer programs and this helps me get a better grasp, just as in our lab, where we are using more programs like Microsoft Excel and "R" to do data collection of ostracods. I'm very thankful and excited to see what the rest of the summer holds for us.