Friday, May 10, 2013

Sophomore Team Perspective: Team SILVER

Our sophomore year has been the best for me thus far.  When I first came into Gemstone, I was eager to see where this program would take me. All I really knew going in was that it was a four-year research program. What I did not know was how all of my best friends would be kids I met at Gems Camp, or during my
freshmen year, or even on my Gemstone Team, Team SILVER.
As a sophomore team, we have just begun doing our work in the lab. Last fall, we wrote our Thesis Proposal, and with guidance from both our mentor and our GEMS202 section leader, we have made great progress. We were awarded a grant that covers our entire proposed budget, and we are well on our way to working towards what I believe to be a great project: one that I a look forward to talking about after its completion in our senior year. Because we are only in the beginning stages of our research, I cannot say how far our research will take us beyond our research plan. Ideally, I would like to see us blow away not only the expectations of others, but also our own expectations of our own capabilities.
-Thomas Brown: Class of 2015: Team SILVER

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Senior Team SWAMP Gives Back to the Maryland Community

On April 6th, the University of Maryland at College Park held a "Good Neighbor Day" event where groups of volunteers and political figures were gathered to clean up and plant trees around the neighborhood. This event is a collaborative initiative by the City of College Park, MNCPPC Parks & Recreation, and the University of Maryland. This year, Team SWAMP was able to donate leftover grant funds into purchasing over 1000 bare-root trees to plant around the Paint Branch river to repair the riparian buffer. The team was awarded $1000 for the Keeping Maryland Beautiful Grant from the Maryland Highway Administration, and one of the requirements was to participate in community involvement with press coverage. After finishing up their research, the team had enough funds to fully cover the plants for this event, with species such as swamp oak, black gum, chestnut oak, swamp dogwood, and many other trees and shrubs. Team SWAMP and 40 other volunteers were able to plant over 800 individual trees along the Paint Branch riverbed that runs across from Comcast Center towards Route One. Thanks to the generosity of the Keeping Maryland Beautiful grant program, Team SWAMP was able to help the University of Maryland campus environment and also raise awareness of environmental issues around campus.

-Lisa Liu: Class of 2013: Team SWAMP