Hey there, I’m a Biology and Plant & Soil Sciences major and I’ve spent the summer working with Dr. Keiluweit and his team studying the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is an important component in understanding nutrient cycling and long-term carbon storage in the soil, especially in the context of global climate change. I was lucky enough to work in Dr. Keiluweit’s lab over the past two semesters doing greenhouse nutrient experiments, and this summer I was able to take on a larger role in processing and analyzing soil, microbial biomass, mineral extract, and carbon dioxide samples. During my time at the lab, I got to do a little bit of everything, bouncing between field work, laboratory experiments, and data processing. Primarily, I was involved in running a sequential mineral extraction to examine metal, carbon, and isotope contents of our collected soil samples. Over the course of the CAFE program, I’ve been able to develop problem solving skills, practice independence as a researcher, and improve my scientific communication skills. I got to meet and work with a lot of really amazing people this summer, and overall, it’s been an invaluable experience.