Ryan Kincaid ’11 is working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) this summer, studying grapes. Professor of Biology Thomas Glover assisted Kincaid in getting this internship, and this is her second summer working at NYSAES.
A typical day consists of collecting data and samples, as well as photographing leaves and flowers for identification purposes. “I am basically helping with the classification of various types of grapes,” Kincaid explains. “The pictures I take and data I collect will be put on a Web site where people from around the world can look to compare their grapes to ours. In general, it will assist with other research done since people will better be able to understand the different varieties.”
“The biology classes that I have taken definitely helped me be qualified for this sort of job,” says Kincaid. “Plant Biology [with Professor of Biology Beth Newell] was extremely beneficial!”
“I enjoy getting to work outside – I spend half my time in the field or vineyard – and I love working with plants. Overall, I am happy for the experience and getting to learn new things, and the people I work with are extremely knowledgeable and kind.”
Kincaid’s research provides experience and training for her career goals. “I am thinking about doing something in the U.S. or other countries dealing with the environment – perhaps during summer breaks from teaching,” she says. “Additionally, I think this will help me know how to incorporate plants and the environment into some of the lessons that I teach.”
Kincaid is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in education, is a member of the Teacher Certification Program and cross country team, and has participated in Chorale, America Reads, Campus Greens, and Woodwind Ensemble. Through the teacher certification program, she tutors at West Street and St. Francis’/St. Stephen’s Elementary Schools.