It’s not dirt, it’s SOIL: Reflections from a K summer internship

Monica Cooper ′14says she is “really excited about pursuing a masters and/or Ph.D. after I graduate.”

Monica Cooper ′14 prepares a 96 well micro plate in Dr. Sarah Emery’s lab at the University of Louisville. Photo credit: Phung Nguyen.

A big reason for her enthusiasm is taking place right now–her summer internship working on the Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research experiment, or KBS LTER, part of Michigan State University’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation.

The KBS is located in Hickory Corners, Mich., not far from Kalamazoo. Monica, a biology major who completed her K study abroad in Quito, Ecuador, is working with KBS LTER scientists at the University of Louisville in Kentucky where she studies “a pesky little protein,” goes “botanizing” in local parks, and explores the Red River Gorge.

“I hope to be a community level ecologist, and never really pictured myself in a lab, indoors, for a whole summer,” wrote Monica in a recent blog post about her summer internship. “Through this REU, I have learned an incredible amount about soil ecology, botany, and what research really is.”

“Monica wrote a terrific blog about her research experience,” wrote MSU Agriculture & Ecology Education & Outreach Specialist Julie Doll, Ph.D., in an email. “We are pleased to work with her and hope to work with other Kalamazoo College students in the future.”

Read Monica′s blog post here.

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Andy Brown

About Andy Brown

As the Director of Media Relations and Online Content, Andy shares the stories that distinguish Kalamazoo College through social media, the Web and the news media. Contact him at