From Marathon Training to Student Outreach, Customers are Keeping Busy
For many of us, summer is a time to get out and stretch our legs, spend some time with the family, or enjoy an exciting holiday adventure.
How will you spend YOUR summer? We asked a sampling of customers and colleagues what they had in mind for the next few months, and here’s what they told us:
Evaluating Coral Health
“As SUSiE [Science Under Sail Exploration] Expeditions continue to unfold the story of the microbial invasion of Symbiodinium trenchii (an invasive Zooxanthallea) in corals in the Caribbean this summer, we use Ocean Optics spectrometers in the field to measure biometrics of corals. As we transit the Exuma Island chain of the Bahamas, portable spectroscopy gives us the ability to measure parameters such as protein, chlorophyll and lipids to evaluate the health of corals in the field. This is part of a larger, long-term, five-year monitoring project (with a sister site in Palau, Micronesia). SUSiE Expeditions bring college undergrads and grads in the field, off-grid, and at sea to tackle our oceans’ biggest challenges. SUSiE utilizes marine science, sailing and mentorship as a catalyst to accelerate a new generation of ocean scientists and explorers. You can support our mission at www.scienceundersail.org.”
— Jerah Lena Coviello, Co-Founder & COO, SUSiE Expeditions
“My summer is as busy as the rest of the year. Aside from the usual research activities — writing proposals, reports and papers for publications — I’m running an Army REAP [Research & Engineering Apprenticeship] program for high school student apprentices during the summer. The most fun part is going to be a trip to San Diego in August, to attend the SPIE Optics + Photonics Symposium.”
— Marek Osinski, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering,
University of New Mexico
Research Heating Up
“I am spending my summer testing new advanced fluorescent tracer materials in the lab and in the [oil and gas] reservoir using my modular Ocean Optics spectrometer. The system will be an integral part of deployable technology this year. I will also be using the spectrometer to monitor fluorescently tagged materials as they progress through carbonate core plugs to test retention and absorption treatments prior to injecting.
“Also, it’s up to 50 °C [122 °F] in Saudi Arabia! It’s a blast furnace outside with heavy winds blowing dust – the rule is, you just don’t do things outside except go to and from your car between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.”
— Erika Ellis, Senior Scientist, Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center-Advanced Research Center, Reservoir Engineering Technology, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
“My summer is going to consist of working a full-time internship with the utility company IJUS. Also, a peer and I were successful this past semester in prototyping a medical device and were chosen as finalists in a healthcare competition at USF [University of South Florida]. I will be working on turning our research into a business. Of course, this summer will include lazy days with friends, family and my beagle, Maggie.”
— Eric Vickers, Research Assistant, Florida Polytechnic University
Bringing Biotechnology to Students
“This summer we will be hosting, together with a research colleague from Henry Ford Health Systems, three local high school students who have entered the Siemens Foundation competition in Math, Science & Technology. We will train them in fluorescence in situ hybridization and confocal imaging paired with mammalian cell culture, and if time and resources permit, some Raman imaging.
“Being in the Detroit area, we can draw on both top-notch life science expertise and an absolute treasure trove of bioengineering technology. I totally enjoy seeing the students’ amazement, and witnessing their ‘a ha’ moments when we explain the utility of things like Raman spectroscopy in biology. The students, and visiting colleagues alike, are intrigued by the application of techniques used in material science to complex medical issues and fundamental biological questions.“
— Stephanie Tucker, Ph.D., Bioactive Lipids Research Program,
School of Medicine, Wayne State University (Detroit, Mich.)
“My summer plans are pretty simple. Professional plans are not changing much from routine tasks and projects. On a personal note, I will be training for the [Bank of America] Chicago Marathon in October. This will be my first marathon, and I am following a 19-week training schedule that includes structured running five days a week and cross training throughout. Throughout the summer, I will be running a half marathon and a few other shorter races to help me prepare. I have found running to be a great temporary escape from the stresses of everyday life.”
— Patricia Bonaguro, Scientist, Crown Packaging Technology Inc., Alsip, Illinois
On the Road Again
“This summer I will be traveling to Australia, China and Mexico to visit collaborators as well as attend conferences. Between this time, I will be working with my research group at North Carolina State. Also, SciBridge [a sustainable energy education organization] is shipping out new experiment kits on thermoelectrics to our partner universities in Uganda, where the universities are holding the first-ever SciBridge workshop.”
— Veronica Augustyn, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering,
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.)
“I am in the process of building my company, JB Hyperspectral Devices, which was founded last year. We design hyperspectral field instruments for passive measurements of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence.
“Also, I am designing with a couple of students an exhibition about the secret glow of plants, or chlorophyll fluorescence, which currently has a lot of interest. You can see more at our website or on Instagram under ‘dasleuchtenderpflanzen,’ where the students post our progress.”
— Andreas Burkart, Ph.D., Research Center Jülich IBG-2 Plant Sciences, Jülich, Germany
The Word on Species
“I am writing a book, called “What species mean,” which is due to be published in late 2018. All biologists, actually almost everyone, use species in their work. The living world is composed of species, from ourselves, to our pets and food, animals and plants, microscopic animals and bacteria, and all the wonderful biodiversity on the Earth and in the oceans. How many species are there on Earth? What do taxonomists look for when they name a new species? Why do taxonomic names change in some groups but not in others? Writing this book means I get to spend my summer reading, and talking to very smart people who are experts in all kinds of different animals and plants. I also find that I think better when paddling a kayak, so that’s part of the plan, too. “
— Dr. Julia Sigwart, Director, Queen’s University Marine Laboratory, Belfast, Ireland
“My summer will be spent in transition.
“My PERSONAL transition includes moving out of the house where both my children spent the first years of life. The new home has a larger yard, which will provide them the vital time outdoors away from technology. This new landscape will demand much of my attention this summer as it goes through my man-made succession; eliminating bush honeysuckle, developing snag habitats and building soil for years of prosperity. Working within the micro-climates of the property, I will do my best to design our new homestead to optimize sunlight.
“My PROFESSIONAL transition includes shifting my startup PupilBox out of a crowdfunding initiative into a fully operational website. PupilBox continues to educate on the impacts of blue light and provide the best protection for all. Feedback from our Kickstarter and beta-testing will be applied to forming our go-forward strategy for both education and products. Working with our dedicated team, we will be bringing affordable protection to all those digitally addicted to minimize harmful blue light.”
— Paul Rudolph, CEO and Co-Founder, PupilBox