L a u r a  P o w e r s
Expert in Soil Ecology and Biology

1) What is your current job (title and responsibilities)?
I'm a post-doc with Dr. Diana Freckman at Colorado State University, and I am responsible for coordinating and directing the research that we conduct each year in Antarctica. My general area of expertise is in the area of soil ecology and biology. Specifically, I work with nematodes in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and also participate in the LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) Project that is set up here in Taylor Valley.

2) How did you get to this point in your career (what education and previous jobs did you have)?
I received both an MS and a PhD from the University of Florida, and started working with Diana shortly after I received my last degree. I have worked in a variety of science labs over the years, working with other professors as an undergraduate student. I also worked at an agricultural school in Honduras while I was getting my PhD. A little different from the cold climate of Antarctica!

3) What was your personal motivation for following this path?
I love the outdoors, and studying natural processes that occur in the forests, deserts, and other systems is really exciting! I love working in Antarctica, since this whole continent is one huge outdoor laboratory, and I have a chance to look at organisms and work with animals that few other people have even seen! The different kinds of work that we can do here are just endless...

4) What are your goals during the next year?
I have a lot of goals, both personally and professionally - it would be hard to get into all of them here! In general, I'd like to share with a lot of people about the kinds of data that we're collecting here in Antarctica, by writing some papers and talking at a few meetings. I'm also anxious to get more involved in specific aspects of our research, looking at the distribution of nematodes in the Dry Valleys!

5) What other personal tidbits would you like to share (hobbies, family, etc)?
Hmmm. I like to do almost anything outdoors, but particularly hiking! I live close enough to the Rocky Mountain National Park that this is an easy getaway spot! I also like to read almost anything (fiction or non-fiction), and creative writing is one of my best outlets when I'm tired or frustrated!

Hope this gives you a better idea of who I am, and what I like to do! I'll look forward to getting your questions...


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