Your name and what is/was your background (what is your major, why science, etc)?
Danielle Druffel Adams, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Why did you decide to join a research lab? How did the experience compare to what you had expected?
I decided to join a research lab because I had interests in Horticulture and botany and wanted expand my knowledge beyond that of civil engineering. Also, I wanted to have a new experience to be able to challenge myself and work outside my comfort zone. Working in a lab exceeded my expectations; it was fun and I was able to make new friends. I felt my contributions to the lab were valued and I was able to actively participate and input new ideas freely and openly. Overall I feel that I increased my scientific knowledge and self-confidence, and learned many invaluable skills that I will use throughout my life.
What was cool, exciting, or most interesting about your time in the lab?
It was very interesting and exciting to working on a team with other students who all had very diverse backgrounds and scientific research experience. The diversity of our team aided in the cultivation of new ideas and allowed me to learn and gain an understanding of the research through the help of the team.
If there is something in particular you learned or discovered that you’d like to share with others, please take a moment to tell us about it.
It was fun and exciting to broaden my knowledge and experiences by participating and conducting research in genomics while being able to utilize my knowledge in civil engineering to help problem solve and come up with new project ideas.
If you would recommend conducting research in a science lab to others, what would you tell them to get them interested in the idea?
The idea of conducting research in a lab can be somewhat intimidating. I often felt at the beginning that I lacked the knowledge and experience to effectively contribute to the research and lab. However, you have to start somewhere! I was able to learn a lot in a short period of time through the help of my peers and was able to utilize my individual talents, skills, and experiences to contribute to the lab research and come up with new ideas.
We’d love to know what you’re up to, so please give us a brief description of where you are working or going to school now.
I currently work as an environmental engineer at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, where I manage environmental restoration projects for Superfund sites and Fairchild’s environmental compliance assessment program.
Did the lab experience help you with your classes or your perspective about science? Did working in the lab help you with developing other skills like time management or communication?
Participating in lab research gave me a hands-on perspective of the scientific processes and methodologies I was learning in my science classes. Also my lab experience allowed me to better understand the process in which new ideas, innovations, and technologies are discovered, and see firsthand the many career opportunities in the science field. In working in a lab, I had many opportunities to present our research, which allowed me to improve me communication skills and learn to present scientific information in such a way that the average person with no knowledge of the subject could understand and take interest in our research.
Was there anything in particular you would have liked us to do different to enhance your learning or interest from the time spent in the lab?
Do you feel better prepared for the workplace or future academic endeavors as a result of your time in the lab?
I feel working in the lab helped me to learn to work side by side with others and use one another’s knowledge to learn and challenge myself. I do not use the scientific knowledge I learned through my research in my career, however, I feel that the camaraderie and life skills I learned while working in a lab have helped me to be successful in my career and have good working relationships with my co-workers and supervisors.