Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Instead of doing “traditional” blog posts this summer, Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their summer routines via photos. Lauren Suhi is doing sciencey things with corn and making up stories about people she sees on CyRide:
Because I wake up 15 minutes before my cool, fresh ride comes to pick me up, I eat my breakfast on the go. Who needs a table when sidewalks are just as great of a place for bagels and coffee?
And here’s my awesome pick-up, the CyRide. My favorite hobbies coming to and from work is to people watch and to try to guess what job they look so happy to go to in the morning.
This summer, I’m working in the USDA’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment on the north side of campus. I’m a part of a field crew that is helping do research on the effects of humic products on corn. So far, it increases yields, but we’re researching why it’s doing that. Here’s a part of the lab I’m working in. It’s so sciencey and all I want to do is wear a lab coat and swirl around some liquids in glass bottles.
But, most days when it’s not rainy, I’m out in the field doing some cool tests on Iowa’s most famous crop: corn.
This pogo-like stick contraption is used to take soil cores from the ground. We gathered about 15 samples per plot of soil, which then I have been sieving into smaller pieces to run tests on (a fun rainy-day activity for people to try out: sieving soil into 2 mm pieces).
Our fields are off campus, and sometimes we stop at Ames-area farms to pick up supplies (plus I feel like a big-wig rollin’ up in a government vehicle). Being from a city area, I don’t see many cows, so I got excited and walked up to the fence to take a picture. They must have noticed because they all came closer and lined up all nice a pretty for me. They are quite the MOOdels (sorry, I tried).
When you’re preforming experiments in corn, you also get to chop some up and rip them apart. We do a ton of different tests on the corn like hormone analysis or root exudate measurements and we also will be digging for roots next week. We tend to dig a lot of holes (practicing for my role in Holes 2 alongside Shia LaBeouf).
Corn on this farm is currently in the V6 stage, which basically means there’s six big leaves that have grown so far. We measure the area of each leaf, and they can get pretty long towards the end of the growing season.
The real question is, will it be knee-high by the Fourth of July?
Another perk of the job is that it’s such high fashion. Also, you get to work on your farmers tan ALL DAY. And it will be so authentic; I can already hear the jealousy in people’s voices.
For lunch, I like to eat on our beautiful campus! The Lagomarcino courtyard is so beautiful and peaceful to munch on a homemade PB sandwich. I also enjoy watching future Cyclones try to find their way around campus during orientation.
After working 8 hours and feeling like an adult, I love coming home and seeing my beautiful pepper plant which will hopefully have some peppers on it soon! (If you couldn’t tell from my job, I really like plants).
And, of course what’s a good summer without hanging out with your honors friends at the Farmer’s Market early on a Saturday morning? Have a good summer!