Shlomo Honig '18

CREST (Coastal Research in Environmental Science and Technology)-REU at UMass Boston, Summer 2017

This past summer, I had the privilege to participate in the CREST-REU program at the University of Massachusetts Boston's School for the Environment. As a member of Professor Bob Chen's Biogeochemistry lab group, my research focused on a phenomenon called "first flush"- the increase in the concentration or mass of a contaminant, nutrient, or pollutant in a river from watershed runoff following rain events. More specifically, I studied the first flush of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the Neponset Estuary, which connects the Neponset River Watershed with Boston Harbor. Ultimately, I hoped to quantify what percentage of the annual DOC flux into the Neponset Estuary is driven by rain events, which has implications for more holistically understanding the marine component of the global carbon cycle.

Learning new skills and concepts while developing relationships with new people during my 10-week CREST-REU internship made my summer experience particularly rewarding. Conducting research in coastal biogeochemistry offered me a fascinating new lens into the carbon cycle, as I had focused on its terrestrial component in previous summers. Additionally, the program included organized workshops and enriching lectures designed to improve scientific writing skills, explore diverse research in coastal environmental science, and prepare interns for a professional career in the sciences. While I am still in the process of refining my academic and professional aspirations post-W&L, working within an interdisciplinary team of individuals specializing in chemistry, remote sensing, and engineering was an exciting and memorable opportunity that has further shaped my journey into the sciences.

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