A summer of field work in the Rocky Mountains
By Regan Cross • Schulich Leader at University of Ottawa
This past summer, I completed a CO-OP work term at the esteemed Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado, USA. I spent the months of June and July living at the biological field station and assisting Dr. Jessica Forrest with her ecological research on the Osmia bee species. I had an amazing experience, and learned more in those two months about our study species, the high-altitude environment, and the scientific process than I would have thought possible. We completed fieldwork about 6 days per week, and hiked mountains and trails or visited the nearby town of Crested Butte on our days off.
I also completed field research for my own Honours Project during my time at RMBL. I look forward to writing my thesis report and presenting it at the University of Ottawa this upcoming spring semester. I have already learnt so much throughout the process of completing my own research project from start to finish, and it has allowed me to truly appreciate the work that goes in to every scientific experiment and paper. I had an unforgettable experience at RMBL and made some great friends along the way.
This past fall semester, I have been busy with school, working on my Honours Project and taking some great classes. In our fourth year, we take a Biology Seminar class that has proven to be very interesting and enlightening. We present and critique scientific papers, and we have picked up some skills that will likely be very valuable in future scientific work. The discussion-based classroom has also been very enjoyable and relevant to future work. I have also been working as the President of the uOttawa Dance Club again this term. Our club continues to grow every year, and we look forward to our show on March 20th.
It’s hard to believe that I am halfway finished my fourth year at the University of Ottawa. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience and look forward to completing my degree in one year’s time. I have enjoyed meeting up with the other Schulich Leaders at my school and trading stories and advice. I am also excited to see what future Schulich Leaders at the University will accomplish. Thank you again to the Schulich Foundation for their support!