An Amazing Environment: Interning Outdoors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

An Amazing Environment: Interning Outdoors

Clancy Brown ’09 participates in a Research Experience for Undergraduates in Colorado

“My office is an incredible mountain valley, where I can get away from noise and people for hours at a time, explains Clancy Brown ’09. “When I am walking to the lab, I will stumble across baby foxes playing, or marmots sounding their warning calls. It’s just an amazing environment.

Brown is interning at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colo., for her Research Experience for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation. She is a native of Kennebunk, Maine, who is pursuing a major in biology.

With the help of a mentor scientist, Dartmouth College’s Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Brad W. Taylor, Brown is creating and executing her own research project that aims to determine the effects of a nuisance alga, called D. geminata, on aquatic insects.

“I spend a lot of time wearing waders and tending my experiments in streams or sitting in front of a microscope identifying bugs for my samples, says Brown. At the end of the summer, Brown will present her findings at a Rocky Mountain Lab symposium.

Brown says her path to the picturesque internship began in Geneva, N.Y. “I think that a combination of classroom and field experience at HWS prepared me for this summer, explains Brown. “My work last summer with Professor John Halfman was the best preparation for doing independent research. I worked with him as part of the HWS Summer Science program, doing an independent project on algae.

She was also inspired by an ecology class. “I thought that the work Professor Newell did in Central America was really cool, and I decided I’d like to do some sort of field ecology research, too.

As for the future, Brown will hopefully study abroad in Ecuador and Peru to observe the ecosystems in other parts of the world, such as the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory has also invited Brown back to continue her research at next summer.