A Peek at Life Under a Wheat Field: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

MSU graduate researcher, Allison Zahorec, is a PhD student in Dr. Doug Landis’s lab in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. Allison Zahorec holding a core of soil taken out of a wheat field at the LTER. Photo by Kurt Stepnitz. When one envisions a typical midwestern farm, ‘biodiversity’ is hardly the first thing that comes to mind. Compared to more natural landscapes, agricultural lands can seem like ecological dead zones. Yet even the most intensively managed corn monocultures are teeming with life belowground. A few teaspoons of soil can contain over a billion

Learning to step out of my comfort zone at KBS

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) 2018 undergraduate summer researcher, Selassie Lijelu, is a Forensic Chemistry major at the University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne. She wrote about herKBS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with the Haddad Lab. The summer of 2018, I was selected to participate in the Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. When I accepted the offer, I was extremely nervous and had no idea what the next eleven weeks in Hickory Corners, Michigan would consist of. I was

My time as an REU: learning the research process

Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) 2018 undergraduate summer researcher, Audrey Hogenkamp, an Applied mathematics and biology dual major at Augustana College. She wrote about her KBS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project working with the Evans Lab. There are pages and pages that I could write about everything that I learned during my summer at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). Each individual that I encountered had such an incredible passion for their work that I felt like I was constantly inundated with new knowledge—from dinner table conversations with my friends

The little known gas with a big impact

By KBS LTER volunteer Bill Krasean. Dr. Ying Zhang was a visiting researcher in 2017 in Dr. Phil Robertson's lab at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in southwest Michigan. ~~~~ Ozone, the simple combination of three oxygen atoms, is both a naturally occurring and human-created gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Atmospheric ozone is created naturally from gaseous substances emitted by lightning, soil, and vegetation, but it is also formed from pollutants emitted by human activities. Ozone is a mixed bag whose downside is a growing concern worldwide because of its negative i

A new view of farmer fields: Using drones for ag sustainability

By, Bill Krasean Sven Bohm and Kevin Kahmark are standing in the middle of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) field site in Hickory Corners, MI, where researchers study the sustainability of different crops grown for use as liquid transportation fuel. Each is holding a small remote control box similar to one used in video games. On the ground nearby are two small black unmanned aerial vehicles, a.k.a. drones. Soon both drones are airborne, humming quietly above the ground and zipping off in selected directions under the eye of the two drone pilots. While both

My summer at Kellogg Biological Station: Reflections from an undergraduate researcher

KBS undergraduate summer researcher Bibiana Rodriguez is a Biology major at California State Univ. - Sacramento. She wrote about her Research Experience for Undergraduates project working with Dr. Karen Stahlheber  in Dr. Katherine Gross’ lab. Bibi was funded by an NSF REU site award to the Kellogg Biological Station. ~~~~~~~~~ This summer, I spent 11 weeks at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Eleven weeks was all the time I had to: Work on my summer research project. Learn new techniques. Collect and analyze al

Learning about the environment from the soil up: Reflections from an undergraduate researcher

KBS undergraduate summer researcher Kathryn Bloodworth is majoring in biology and environmental science at Eastern University, near Philadelphia. She wrote about her Research Experience for Undergraduates experience working with Will West, a post-doc in Sarah Evan's lab. Kathryn was funded by an ESA SEEDS fellowship and an NSF REU site award to the Kellogg Biological Station. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My name is Kathryn Bloodworth and I am a rising senior at Eastern University, located outside of Philadelphia. There I study biology and environmental science and for the last eleven weeks I have had th

Gaining a sense of oneness: Reflections from an undergraduate researcher

KBS summer undergraduate researcher Ivori Schley is majoring in laboratory animal science at North Carolina A&T. She wrote about her Research Experience for Undergraduates project working with KBS LTER & GLBRC Postdoctoral Research Associate Sarah Roley in Phil Robertson's lab. Ivori was funded by an NSF REU site award to the Kellogg Biological Station. ~~~~ Hello All! I am Ivori Schley, a rising sophomore from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T). During this eventful summer in the Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) program

Expectations: reflections from an undergrad researcher

Each summer the KBS LTER supports students to participate in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the NSF. This is part of a larger undergraduate research program at KBS. Rick Moyer is majoring in environmental studies at Albright College. He wrote about his REU experience working with KBS LTER Postdoctoral Research Associate Ilya Gelfand in Phil Robertson's lab. If you are ever offered a position at the Kellogg Biological Station, wipe all expectations from your mind and use that saved space to learn the game of euchre. When I received the email

Full Immersion: reflections from an undgrad researcher

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center supports students to participate in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at KBS during the summer. This is part of a larger undergraduate research program at KBS. Matthew Carey is studying at Norfolk State University. He wrote about his REU experience working with KBS GLBRC Research Associate Karen Nikolakakis in Katherine Gross' lab. Full Immersion: My Life as a KBS REU The best way to describe my twelve week experience with the Research Experience for Undergraduate program at the Kellogg Biological Station is as a full i