Venessa Udell

Venessa Udell doing field work GLBRC 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Program participant Venessa Udell worked at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, MI.
A sunset over a lake

This summer I had the opportunity to stay at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, MI. I was sponsored by the Great Lakes Biological Research Center through Michigan State University. When I first arrived, I was nervous but also excited because I’ve never done hands-on research before. After the first week, I realized it was an exceptional place to be completing my first internship.

Over the course of 11 weeks, I worked with my extremely intelligent mentor, Nameer Baker. We created an experimental design that allowed us to look at the effects of prairie strips on herbivore activity in soybean fields. I gained hands-on experience in the field when I was collecting data and learned how to analyze the data that I collected. On days that I wasn’t collecting data, there were professional development workshops and other fun activities that students were able to participate in. 

Gull Lake is beautiful. Fishing and watching colorful sunsets were just some of the highlights of my time at KBS. On hot days, I enjoyed cooling off in the lake. Now when I look back, I wish I had more time there to walk all the surrounding trails and use the kayaks to paddle around the lake. Also, I will never forget our tour of the Kellogg Manor House. The craftsmanship was out of this world. It was like going back in a time capsule.

Overall, if you are looking to gain hands-on experience, network and make new friends, and enjoy the outdoors… this is the place to be. I feel that everything I came there looking to accomplish was fulfilled. I am proud to have been a part of this program.

Read more GLBRC Summer REU blogs here.