Jordan P. Haines
When I was in high school, I was not the most studious person. I planned to become a trades person or go to police academy. As graduation approached, the shift work and irregularity of these careers was growing less and less attractive. I had jobs with shift work since I was 15, when I started working at a burger joint. These experiences left more to be desired. So, I decided to take a couple years off after high school to decide what I wanted to do in life.
I must say that my two years off became more about waiting for my shift to end than trying to decide what to do for a career. A lot of time, and money, was frittered away in a weekends entertainment. This became very old by the end of the first year, though I still had no idea what to do with myself. After considering what I wanted from a career, I decided to do something that was meaningful and could make a difference. As it fit my personal strengths, provided a meaningful career, with not too shabby time off, I decided I would set my path towards becoming a teacher.
With a five-year plan in mind, I decided that my best course of action was to get a degree. I have always enjoyed watching the nature shows, camping, and enjoyed the puzzle solving aspects of math. For these reasons, I decided to take a stab at an Environmental Sciences degree, with a minor in math, at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.
The first thing I learned at the Dal AC is that five-year plans are pointless. My mind was opened to the many subjects involved in Environmental Sciences and the impacts we humans have on the planet. I became interested in environmental chemistry, ecology, waste management, environmental remediation, and pest management. My problem went from having no idea what to do, to having no idea which interest I should pursue. I was very interested in pest management as it included many aspects of my interests, so I decided to base my fourth-year project in pest management.
After talking to one of the professors of a pest management course I was taking, a project was decided on. This project involved the germination of dry and wet hair fescue seeds after being exposed to high temperatures. If the seeds died faster due to moisture, applying this could reduce the amount of pesticide application to burn pruned crops. I delved into my project straight away, doing research into similar studies and planning the experiment.
If I had of known how small hair fescue seeds were, and how many I had to hand count, I may have chosen a different project. However, once I was done hand counting some 2400 seeds, twice, I found interesting results. I completed my whole experiment twice, hence the 4800 seeds, and found some differences between the two runs, though the same general trend was found. I plan to complete my experiment one more time, after I finish my final semester.
My advisor believes that there is a strong possibility that my results could lead to a published scientific journal article. When I was told this, I felt a bitter sweet excitement. This guy, who never paid much attention to schoolwork in high school, could find himself with a published paper after graduating from a science degree. However, I do have to count those 2400 seeds again.