Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good bye, South Holland

by Laurel
It has been very useful this summer to experience  such things in the lab as to learn how to do things "old school." For example: destructing duckweed plant material via boiling in concentrated nitric acid, and then adding hydrogen peroxide in order to oxidize the carbon and finally analyzing the resulting liquid for zinc concentration. Old school methods make you understand better what is happening in the reaction. Also pipetting with glass pipettes brings images of the past. Growing the duckweed for my experiments was also a new experience, and it gave me an introduction to working with aquatic plants in my field, environmental engineering.

I love the small town of Delft, and its historic center. Also, the Netherlands is in an ideal location in Europe for traveling in both Eastern and Western Europe. Train and air travel are very easy with the public transit system the Netherlands has. Also bike travel is very safe and it is very easy to bike into and out of a city (much unlike the US). 

I will hopefully be leaving for Dominican Republic in no less than 3 weeks, and I will see where my research takes me from there.

My advice for the future team is to enjoy life in South Holland, enjoy the food such as stroop waffels and belgian frites and belgian chocolate.... And make sure to go to your favorite European country... I didn't go to mine (Spain).

Thank you to IHE and NSF for the support that made the IRES program possible.

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