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Blog Reflection: Future Healthcare Provider

So far I have learned a lot about myself while attending the CAP course. When I first came in I was apprehensive about what I had to learn and the fact that I would be giving presentations throughout the course. I approached the course with a positive attitude and was put at ease by the few instructors that we have. I know that with my goal of working in the healthcare field that I would constantly be talking to a room of my peers and/or patients. My goal is to become a physician. I’ve known I wanted to become one since I was four years old. I love science and I love problem solving but I detested public speaking. This class has helped me to approach speaking in public not as a burden but as an interesting exercise. Our instructors gave us students tools on how to make an interesting and interactive presentation. When I had to give a mock presentation to my class, I was given critical feedback on how to make my presentation better. I have learned that the best way to make sure I know a topic is to be able to teach it to someone else who has no clue as to what you are speaking of. I learned that I am good at articulating my point. By relaxing more, I am able to let my personality shine through and in turn this makes others more comfortable around me and listen to what I have to say. I’ve also learned not to talk at someone but to relate something to them so that they have a better understanding of what I am speaking of.

Over the next few months I will be preparing to take the MCATs, finish up my medical school applications, and going on interviews. The interview process is very important because this is where admissions officers get to know who I am as a person and not just what I put on paper. With what I have learned in this class, I feel more confident with marketing myself and showing the admissions officer that I belong at their school.

After graduating medical school I want to be a family doctor. I would like to implement a healthy living program for families in my hometown that would be simple and fun to follow. Learning about the carbon cycle and the simple steps we can take to decrease our carbon output, I would like to teach others that they do not have to give up their material possessions but that they can use it in more energy efficient ways. I believe that it is important for children to learn at an early age how they can not only live a healthy life but help to maintain their environment. Once it is instilled in them, then it would be second nature to them.


I found an article by Demark and Becker called “The doctor-patient relationshipand counseling for preventative care” that spoke on the emphasis of having a good rapport between a doctor an patient. This article encourages doctors to be able to provide better counseling on a disease a patient has and to find ways to help the patient cope and live a healthier lifestyle. I believe it is very important for a doctor to be able to relate to their patients. You do not necessarily need to have a similiar background but at least show that you do care no matter how outlandish the situation is. I hope to demonstrate this when I finally become a physician.

Here is a link to the article: The doctor-patient relationship and counseling for preventive care





Hypotheses for Carbon Consumption Experiment

We are now beginning to do our research project on dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We are using 2 different mesocosms, one in an open field and one in the forest, and we are also using a vernal pool that is in the forest. For this experiment we are going to determine how much DOC is consumed by bacteria over a 28 day period.

For my hypothesis on the forested mesocosm,  bacteria will not consume a great portion of DOC due to the amount of allochthonous carbon that reside in it.Allocthonous carbon have a hard exterior and specific structure which makes it harder for the bacteria to eat.

For the sunny mesocosm, I hypothesize bacteria will consume a majority of DOC. This is because bacteria would rather eat autochthonous carbon since they have a soft exterior and no specific structure.

For the vernal pool, I hypothesize that DOC consumption will be higher than the forested mesocosm because it is located in the forest and partially in the sun. There are plenty of leaves in the vernal pool. These leaves are considered to be an allochthonous form of carbon just like in the forested mesocosm.

I found an article by Yang et al called “Modelling geochemical and microbial consumption of dissolved oxygen after backfilling a high level radiactive waste repository”. The authors performed a similar experiment to what we are conductiong. However, the scientist are using an underground lab to conduct their research. What I found interesting was that an excess amount of dissolved oxygen can deteriorate a radioactive waste container when left for a period of time.

Here’s a link to the article:Modelling geochemical and microbial consumption of dissolved oxygen after backfilling a high level radiactive waste repository


Here’s a vernal pool simialr to the one we are experimenting on at the Rice Center:



Carbon Cycling in the News

Most recently I learned about the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington,D.C. I was made aware of this on the news and by Mariah as well. I thought this was pretty interesting because I did not know so much about the pipeline. I was under the impression that it would be built in Canada and run up to Nebraska and it would be a safe and beneficial way to transport oil. This coming from TransCanada. The State Department supports TransCanada by saying that there is no major danger with the pipeline being built. However, after I read about both sides of the argument, I realized that this pipeline is not safe and would cause major damage. Also this would cause people along the pipeline route to lose their homes and farmers could lose their crops. Bill McKibben of used an interesting term to describe the pipeline as “one of the planet’s biggest carbon bombs”. Now that was a really intense way to describe it but I agree. If this pipeline were to break, this could cause an abundant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere and pose more threats to our environment. This actually would be a great addition to my presentation because since this is an ongoing issue, the highschool students are more likely to care about it and do their own research about it.

Jamie Henn, the Co-Founder and Communications Director of, wrote a blog about the rally and he had an interesting perspective on it. Reading his blog made me wish that I attended the rally. He described that the rally was able to unite most of the environmental organizations all over the nation. It’s amazing to see children are able to understand what is going on and take a stand on climate change. People of different races and ethnic backgrounds are able to come together peacefully and urge the President to uphold his promises to decrease climate change and endorse green energy.

Here is the link to the Forward on Climate Rally:

‘Forward On Climate’ Rally Brings Climate Change Activists To National Mall In Washington, D.C.

Here is the Link to Jamie Henn’s Blog:

40,000+ Join ‘Forward on Climate’ Rally in Washington, DC

Here is a link to TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline project:

Keystone XL Pipeline Progect

Forward on Climate Rally

Forward on Climate Rally