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June 12, 2015 Week 2 Newsletter

RECCS is a summer research internship in critical zone science for Colorado community college students funded by the National Science Foundation and coordinated by CIRES Education Outreach.
For the most recent RECCS happenings, check out our blog

RECCS Intern Spotlight!

This week our featured RECCS interns are Joey Gomora and Kevin Thirouin. Joey is teamed up with mentors  Mike Gooseff of INSTAAR and grad student Erika Smull. Kevin is teamed up with mentors Holly Barnard and post-doc David Barnard of INSTAAR. Joey Gomora learns stream monitoring techniques from Mike Gooseff in Gorden Gulch (above).
Joey Gomora
Watch Joey's "elevator speech"!

I currently attend Front Range Community College in Fort Collins. My aspirations for my career involve being not only a researcher but also a theorist. I learn from everyone around me and am always open to new ideas. I have a very dynamic path ahead of me; the end goal is to be a research scientist mainly in the study of geology. I am aiming to have a minor in astronomy, math or possibly physics. While in this career path, I plan to continue my education to get my Master's and ideally my PhD and then pursue a career in Planetary Geology.
Joey and one of his mentors, Erika, preparing to take baseline water samples and run electrical conductivity (EC) tests that are used to monitor stream flow rates in Gordon Gulch.
Joey assisting with Kevin's project, using a pressure chamber to measure water potential in ponderosa pine needles.
Kevin Thirouin
Watch Kevin's "elevator speech"!

Kevin was born and raised in Golden, Colorado, and has always been fascinated by the world around him.  Since he was small, he’s enjoyed exploring the Rocky Mountains on foot, and has spent many days and nights in the wilderness. 
Since attending Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado, evolutionary biology has become a major part of Kevin’s academic focus, and his curiosity continues to grow in that direction. Kevin plans to transfer from Red Rocks in the spring of 2016, in pursuit of a degree in plant biology.
Kevin prepping stream monitoring equipment to assist Joey's research project in Gordon Gulch.
Kevin showing off his knowledge of plant species, as he explains the differences between the extinct giant prehistoric horsetails and our smaller modern ones.

Intern Tips

  • Create and use a system to keep on top of work deadlines
  • Set up weekly mentor check-ins to stay on track
  • If you have any questions, ask for support

Intern Deadlines

  • June 11: Intern Bio & Elevator Speech completed during Workshop
  • June 16: Research Title emailed to Bec for feedback
  • June 19: Research Title emailed to mentor for feedback

Communication Update

In this week's scientific communication workshop the interns shared their elevator speeches. What a treat that was - the students were poised and confident as they explained their research within the bigger context, and did an excellent job of making their work very accessible. It's hard to believe they've only been at it for a week! I'm looking forward to hearing what they learn over the summer. We also talked about the parts of a scientific paper based on a shared reading of a CZO paper by Anderson et al, and were lucky to have a poster based on the same work to compare the presentation styles. Applying our observations, we talked about accessible writing and what makes a paper good to read, and also how to craft a good title (which is this week's homework assignment). Finally, we talked about professional conduct and shared thoughts on communicating with our mentors, receiving feedback, planning our research and keeping good records.

Mentor Tips

  • Set up a work plan for the summer, setting some milestones and deadlines, and including a plan for times when you are out on travel. The students were given an outline of a plan that may help with this discussion. 
  • Check in often. Silence doesn't always mean everything is going smoothly! It can be useful to "drop in" and see if there are any questions.
CZO Program
CZO Program
Copyright © 2015 CIRES Education Outreach, All rights reserved.

RECCS is funded by National Science Foundation Grant Award Number 1461281

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