Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall Semester is Winding Down!

Hello all!

Fall semester is coming to a close and winter is quickly approaching. This semester has been a doozy! As my last fall semester at Purdue (sad face), I have been busy with 18 credit hours, working, and planning my next step. You never really realize how busy you become until you start planning your future, going through all your options, and making decisions. Let me touch on some of the highlights of this fall!

Purdue football still is less than desirable but Purdue Agronomy and NRES are having a fantastic season! Our award winning Agronomy Club and Soils Team are just two of the awesome things you will be involved with when you become a Boilermaker. I am even finding success this fall by winning second place in the Ecological Science and Engineering Symposium Undergraduate Poster Competition. I designed a poster of a research project I am working on for my senior capstone (those of you in NRES, you will have to choose to either work on an individual project with a professor, take an EPICS class, or have an internship) and got to participate in my first poster competition!

It was such a good learning experience on how to communicate my research to the public, which is an important skill for all of us! Aside from working on a research project, I am still working for Dr. Keith Johnson and his bioenergy project. This summer I helped him design field days for October 28 and 30, and I was able to attend October 30. The name of the event was Forage Field Day, and we began at Wagler's Dairy learning about what they feed their dairy cows and what forage they use as cover crops over the winter. We then traveled to Zupancic Farm, where we learn about their hay operation and the equipment they use. We got to listen to their strategies for forage cover crops. Then we traveled back to the Trafalgar FFA center to talk about the bioenergy grass projects. Conversation covered a range of topics, from habitat, harvest, and production. I got to give a presentation on how to take a stand count, which is a research method used when the seed emerges in the spring.

Standing in a harvested section of bioenergy grass explaining how to take a stand count

Showing field research methods with Dr. Ryan Dierking

I am now working on graduate school applications and studying for finals! One thing I have learned this semester is to get outside of your comfort zone, it pays off and you may find something that you love something that you were never thought you would! 
Until next time.. BOILER UP! 


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