Monday, August 8, 2011

Pleasant memories, tons of photos…

As I begin the arduous task of sorting through the thousands of photos I took I figured it was a good time to reflect on the last few months.   

Living in the Netherlands working at IHE was a fantastic experience.  I absolutely loved being able to bike everywhere and if I could bike it I could take the train.  I will sorely miss such efficient and easily accessible public transportation and how easy you can travel to other countries (Germany, Austria, and Belgium for me).  It is amazing how different these places can be even though they are so close together.

And despite everyone saying how boring Dutch food is I will miss that too.  Everything was always so fresh at the grocery store and well I like bread and cheese just fine.  I will very much miss the delicious Belgium chocolate and beer.

I really felt like an engineer this summer working on my vegetative walls.  I got to build and design something completely novel.  Before this summer I didn’t know anything about designing a system to operate at specific hydraulic retention times, or how to measure nitrogen and phosphorous without HACH kits.  I learned how to make synthetic wastewater.  I trouble-shooted my way through the summer as I needed to create a drip feed system, fix flowing problems, and fix clogging problems.  Sure in the end it didn’t work exactly as I had hoped but hey, that’s science right?  I really want to thank Dr. Rousseau and Dr. Lens for all their help and ideas.  Can’t wait to see what the next masters student accomplishes with those panels.

The NSF IRES program was a fantastic experience and the life and research skills I gained are invaluable.  I sincerely want to thank everyone who made the experience possible, NSF, UNESCO-IHE faculty and staff, Dr. Yeh, and Dr. Trotz, and my fellow students at USF and IHE it wouldn’t have been the same without you all.  Thanks all!


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