During the Summer of 2021, I worked as a researcher in the food science department as a part of the CAFE Summer Scholars Program. The goal of my project was to develop the methods and technology for detecting low concentrations of microplastics in water samples. Microplastics are a globally prominent pollutant that are becoming increasingly harmful to the environment. They have become more prevalent as more plastic has been produced and distributed, leading to the eventual degradation of these materials into invisibly small pieces. Because these plastics pose a potential public health threat, an accurate method of detection is important.
This experience made me a better researcher and scientist. The freedom to design my own experiments provided me insight into how to lead a project. I also improved my communication skills through sharing results with other researchers. It felt very rewarding to dedicate my summer to a project that could have a positive impact on the health of the environment.