Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CCT Volunteer Kyra DiFrancesco Last Blog Post (FORRU)

My last few weeks at FORRU have been pretty busy. Just days before departing Thailand, we participated in a “baseline monitoring” trip to Tam Pha Thai National Park in Lampang Province. Almost two weeks ago we went to Tam Pha Thai to plant 5,000 trees in the FORRU plots there. It was our job to measure a baseline for the growth of the trees we planted. Each team of two was assigned 500 trees! We didn’t end up finishing, especially since we were delayed with rain. It was a long and exhausting day. After getting back from the baseline monitoring trip, we rushed to wrap up our projects and deliver our final presentations.

Unfortunately, the science experiment we were performing didn’t quite turn out the way we wanted it to. Half of it got contaminated (an almost unavoidable problem when working in the tropics, according to our boss). The other half had results that can’t statistically be considered significant, but we did get somewhat promising results. Even though we didn’t have any scientific breakthroughs, which I didn’t exactly anticipate having in a three-week project, we did set a good precedent for the next set of interns to work on this project. We gathered all the necessary supplies, learned a lot, and wrote a paper so that the next group to take on our project doesn’t have to start from scratch like we did. Overall, I think it was a good learning experience.

On our last day, we delivered presentations to our co-workers on our time with FORRU. We went through our office, field, and lab work. In the office, my biggest project was working on FORRU’s website. On the day of the presentation, I revealed the new publications section of the website. Check it out on forru.org! Our boss thought the data from our experiment looked promising, and that he looked forward to reading our paper. After presentations, we all went to iBerry to celebrate our time with FORRU before saying goodbye. 

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