Over the summer of 2013, I attended field sessions on the New York City waterways with Professor Michael Levandowsky. While collecting samples, we found a sample with neither Nitrogen nor plankton in it. A possible solution that Professor Levandowsky told to me was that if we incubate the sample with Nitrogen, the sample would bloom. This inspired the question, What conditions in New York City waters spark plankton blooms? Since my mentor has taken me to various locations, I was open to testing new areas such as Newtown Creek, a superfund site. Superfund sites are highly toxic with various nutrients such as Nitrogen and is a hot spot for plankton blooms. – Lanique Dawson
Freshmen year I applied to ASR thinking I could accomplish the unexpected, find the cure to cancer, and discover something that changes our society for the better. That is how I became intrigued by science. Once I got accepted, reality hit me. I was not going to find the cure for cancer or find a cure for patients with heart problems through ASR. This program was going to prep me for skills I will need later on. During the month of October 2012, I was trying to find a research topic. Hurricane Sandy also took place during the same time. I begun looking into specific effects that Sandy caused. From there I was able to narrow down into plankton studies, this became my inspiration. My interests have changed dramatically from the time I started to now. I still use the goals I first had before, my acceptance into ASR as my motivation towards my work.
– Laboni Islam