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Alfred University students to share summer experiences at Environmental Studies Speakers Series talk
9/13/17

Their experiences could hardly have been more different, but Erin Siebert and Adlai Ostrer both learned something significant about themselves over the summer.

            The two will share their experiences during Friday’s Environmental Studies Speakers Series at 12:20 p.m. in Roon Lecture Hall (Room 247) in the Science Center on the Alfred University campus.

            Erin spent her summer studying ocean carbon fluxes in a biogeochemistry lab under the direction of Aron Stubbins, an associate professor with the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia.

            Erin said she initially searched online for an REU (research for undergraduate experience) program through the National Science Foundation. Instead, after reading her resume, Stubbins asked her to work in his biogeochemistry lab as an intern, through a National Science Foundation-funded research project. “Dr. Stubbins said that I was well-rounded in many subject areas and I already had some experience with various field equipment and instruments,” said Erin.

            She was able to work with a “top-of-the-line HPLC-IRMS (high-pressure liquid chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometer) combination instrument and an elemental analyzer” in a successful effort to “measure respiration for the ocean via carbon dioxide.”

            Her summer spent at the Skidaway Institute “led me to meet people from all over the United States – California, Texas, Ohio, Maine, South Carolina – and all over the world – Spain, China, England and Brazil.”

            Beyond that, though, she came away with the conviction “I definitely want to pursue biogeochemistry work in graduate school.”

            Erin is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies.  She is a graduate of Haverling Junior-Senior High School, and is the daughter of Michael and Erica Siebert of Campbell, NY.

            Adlai spent his summer outdoors, doing trail maintenance in the Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness area in Idaho through a partnership between the national Forest Service and the Student Conservation Association.

            “I spent 12 weeks in a wilderness setting, without contact with the outside world,” said Adlai. He and his trail crew cleared more than 100 miles of trail during the summer, something Adlai is proud of accomplishing.

            The experience “taught me a lot about working in the field and being able to face strenuous and harsh environments,” he said.

            Also a senior majoring in Environmental Studies, Adlai is a graduate of Princeton High School. He is the son of Mitchel Ostrer and Gene Rosenblum.