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In the Environment LAURA KINKEAD 14 Laura Kinkead 14 has always gravitated toward science and math but dont just picture her in a labKinkead is also an avid outdoorswoman. So when she heard about the Darrin Fresh Water Institute Semester of Study Kinkead knew it was for her. It sounded like school outside and thats what it turned out to be said Kinkead an interdisciplinary science major with a focus on biology who is now working at Pitney Bowes. The Semester of Study is offered to students each fall at Rensselaers Darrin Fresh Water Institute an environmental research center on Lake George. The program includes formal courses in freshwater ecology and applied and environmental microbiology a seminar series on environmental topics an individual research project and an internship with one of more than a dozen local organizations. As part of the program students live in the Institutes large Adirondack-style lodge throughout the semester. The lodge is adjacent to the main laboratory facilities of the center where students perform individual research projects that bridge the gap between traditional ecology research modern bioinformatics and chemical analysis. Kinkead who is particularly interested in computational biology worked on a data-mining project tracking the effects of introduced large- mouth bass on the fish populations plankton and the chemistry of four interconnected lakes in the Adirondacks. The project cemented her interest in research. You have to have patience for research. Unlike the work you do in lab classes real research can be relatively solitary and you have ongoing projects without definite endpoints that someone else has set up for you Kinkead said. You have to set your own goals and accomplish what you set out for yourself. You have to have patience for research. Unlike the work you do in lab classes real research can be relatively solitary and you have ongoing projects without definite endpoints that someone else has set up for you. dedicated to discovery 28