After my semester abroad in Wollongong, Australia, where I took a course on nutrition, I spent two weeks of July 2019 immersing myself in the culture and geography of different regions in New Zealand. As an aspiring medical student from rural upstate NY, who had the opportunity to learn about nutrition both in and outside of the classroom in Australia, I was curious to learn about nutrition and wellness in one of the most geographically unique countries in the world.
“ Not all monasteries allow women inside all parts of the monastery.” 1
This quote comes from an interview I conducted on April 11, 2019, with a male member
of the Ladakh Buddhist Association in Leh, Ladakh, India. I was in Leh, Ladakh, in Northern
India during the month of April, 2019 with the chance to complete a research project on the
relationship between women and religion. During that month, I interviewed thirty-seven people,
most of them women, about the relationship between women and religion in Leh. I expected
them to give opinions on issues such as women religious (in this case, Buddhist nuns), the ways
that lay women practice Buddhism, religious education, and the effects of religion on a woman’s
understanding of self. Instead, almost everyone wanted to talk about the protector spirit temples
of Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and women’s lack of access to them. Overall, my interview
participants were overwhelmed and angered that women were still not allowed to enter these
During the Tropical Ferns and Lycophytes course, I learned from experts in the field at La Selva Biological station and Las Cruces Biological station. A biology professor at Colgate University, professor Eddie Watkins and a Colgate Alumni, Weston Testo were helping to teach the class. The pictures above show a smattering of the amazing views and experiences that I had on the trip. I crossed skinny, winding roads and the Rio Sucio (the Dirty River). I climbed inside an ancient strangler fig tree. And I spent the majority of my waking hours thinking about and learning about ferns. We visited four different habitats with a variety of ferns at each site so as to learn nearly every genus of ferns in the American Tropics, nearing 100 genera by the end of the course. Each genus we learned to identify using their unique characteristics. Along with learning to identify tropical ferns, we learned the most effective methods for their further study, including how to study phylogenetics, physiology, hybridization networks, gametophyte morphology and breeding systems. For me, this was like being in heaven on earth, because I absolutely love thinking about this type of science.
Climate change is a global issue that affects every aspect of our planet. While statistics on mass extinction and the amount of time left to save the earth can be daunting to any individual, the ski industry may be one of the most affected- and concerned. Skiers and ski mountains need snow to ski on, but ski areas across North America (and the world) are increasingly experiencing rapid changes in temperatures and snowfall. Extensive research has demonstrated that ski resorts have alarmingly short lifespans if temperatures continue on an upward trend- but some ski resorts are more vulnerable than others. There is a significant difference between ski resorts based on region; this can perhaps most clearly be seen between the Northeast and Rocky Mountains.
This post was contributed by AMS senior Denise Larson ’19 (depicted above enjoying tea in a book nook of the Signet Library), who spent a portion of her AMS grant to travel to Edinburgh and explore the city that earned the designation of UNESCO City of Literature.
This interview was conducted with Ryan Rios ’20, an Alumni Memorial Scholar intending to double major in Japanese and Computer Science. This past summer, Ryan researched how websites determine what language to display their content in.
This interview was conducted with Jacob Pilawa, a sophomore in the Alumni Memorial Scholars Program intending to major in Astronomy/Physics. This past summer, Jacob researched quasars with Professor Balonek at Foggy Bottom Observatory.