First Day on the Job


`           I have chosen to work alongside of my UROP mentor for the spring time.   I have previously worked with Dr. Daniel Katz for almost a year and I must say I have learned a lot.  I would like to begin with Daniel and I have a good working relationship and we both understand the importance of research ethics.  I have proven the last several months that I am a die-hard when it comes to sustaining the working principles that I learned while I was at my community college.  Dr. Katz knows that when there is work to be completed I am going to work until the work is just that COMPLETE!   Even after the Spring Symposium at the University there was a little bit of work that needed to be finished up.  While I have previously met the qualifications of my UROP research being complete, I still felt the need to go back and finish the last of the microscope work that I fell short on due to the consistency I placed on the poster completion and presentation.   I promised Dr. Daniel Katz that I would not leave anything unfinished and that is what I intended on doing.

So, the first day was not anything I was worried about.  I showed up at our prearranged time and Daniel explained to me the projects he was working on.  Daniel went into detail on what I would be doing.  For the most part Dr. Katz is working with the School of Public Health on Pollen from various species of trees in and around the Metropolitan Detroit Area.  What we are working on is first counting the number of flowers on each of the trees we are gathering data on.  We will be taking pictures as the trees sprout with buds.  The next step will be to gather samples of each trees catkins.  A catkin is the stuff we see hanging off the trees early in the spring.  Each catkin for each species looks different.  After the samples are cut and bagged the samples get taken to the lab in Dana Building for the next phase.  This is the phase I am working on.  My job for now is counting the individual catkins, then the number of flowers per catkin, number of anthers per flower, the last portion of this second phase is taking the anthers from each flower and pickling 5 individual anthers.  An anther is the portion of the flower which contain the pollen which could also be described as the sperm of the species.   Ultimately what we are researching is the amount of pollen grains that each tree will produce.   Each little anther contains hundreds and thousands pollen grains.  This last step is important to set up correctly because the gathered anthers will next be broken open and we I will be counting individual pollen per tree, and per species.

I am excited to be working with Dr. Katz during the spring semester.  I have grown so much in the year and I look forward to working alongside of Dr. Katz nest year too as a Research Scholar.   I was approved as a scholar and I began to think outside of the box for this next phase also.

Victoria B

Through many classes and professors at community college, I learned about a wide range of topics from College Algebra, to English, to Biology, to Art. It was not until my Junior year at the University of Michigan, that I realized one very important topic was not covered: Sustainability. Through middle school and high school, the subject of sustainability never came up. The University of Michigan has a reputation of being an institution that promotes Sustainable Practices and yet I know very little about sustainability. How will I find my place at an institution which actively participates in a practice, I know very little about? Is it because of demographics? Why do some children receive education on sustainability and others do not?

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