Colleen's South American Experience - in her own words

Post date: Oct 2, 2014 6:29:40 PM

My name is Colleen, and I'm an undergraduate senior in EES. I work for Dr. Henderson in air quality modeling research, and as a result, I had the opportunity to spend last summer working in Bogotá, Colombia. The city is implementing regulatory reforms to curb air pollution, especially particulate matter from mobile and industrial sources. Our research team is collaborating with the local Universidad de la Salle to implement modeling for the benefit of more effective regulations.

Thanks to my research group and funding from the city's environmental regulatory agency, I was able to spend time abroad before my last semester, which would be a life-changing experience for any student. I lived with a student at La Salle and her family members, and they helped me to see what life is like for citizens of bustling Bogotá. I improved my ability to speak Spanish to near-fluency, but best of all, I was able to sightsee in several parts of the country, including the beautiful coffee-growing region.

My time spent researching air quality modeling in an area with a need for reform was fulfilling and inspiring. It showed me how important it is that we find solutions to poor air quality for every part of the world, and it reinforced my desire to make a difference in the field of atmospheric sciences after I graduate. I will always be thankful to my research group for this unique and exciting opportunity.