Monday, July 1, 2013

Renee Renn - Week #1

Hello, my name is Renee and I have been attending Portland Community College (PCC).  In the fall, I am planning on transferring to Portland State University (PSU)  to purse a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering.  I decided to apply for the PRIME internship because I thought it would be a great opportunity to explore an aspect of marine science and to get a chance to research what direction I want to go with my education.  I know that I want to obtain a degree in environmental engineering, and I am interested in linking it to marine science but am still looking for my niche.  I have always been fascinated by the processes of the ocean, and I would love to pave a career were I focused on some facet of the marine sciences. 

This summer I am working at Oregon State University (OSU)  with Jim McManus and Brian Haley.  I will be studying the chemistry of marine sediments.  I have already been introduced to the lab that  I will be spending most of the summer in.  It is a clean room lab which means that we work very hard to not introduce germs from the outside into this lab.  It also means that I must change my shoes, wear a lab coat and a hat.
For the summer I will mainly be working in the lab.  Later on this summer I will have the opportunity to go to sea for ten days to collect core samples off the coast of Oregon.  (More to come on this later!)  After we return from sea, I will get the chance to process samples from the start to finish of the process.  Currently I am working on samples that have already been through some on the testing, and I am sort of jumping into a middle step.  Also, in the lab I will get to learn how to use a Multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICPMS), which is an instrument that measures isotopic ratios that are used in geochemistry, geochronology, and cosmochemistry.
This is a photo of the back side of the machine.  (More to come on this as well!)

So far this has been a great and enlightening experience.  There is a lot of amazing research and research teams here at OSU, and I certainly feel honored to be apart of this summer experience working along side some highly educated and passionate individuals. 


  1. Fascinating, keep the information coming. Sounds like the next blog will come in "waves".