GREENVILLE, S.C. (July 20, 2016) – Alyssa Burch, a junior biology major at Bob Jones University, is serving this summer as an intern with the BJU biology department for PermaMatrix located in Portland, Oregon.
Through this internship, which is sponsored by PermaMatrix, Burch and other BJU students are testing a bio-organic product in its ability to improve soil-water retention as well as the ability of plants to absorb fertilizer. The goal of the project is to reduce the leaching of fertilizers that can have an ecological impact on the underground waters and the ecosystem as a whole.
“This experience gives our students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real life and broadens their understanding of biological systems,” says Dr. Vincenzo Antignani, professor in the biology department and faculty advisor of the internship. “Through our courses and labs, we teach students how to think like a scientist, but experiences like these refine their ability to deal with and solve complex problems.”
Burch, a resident of Simpsonville, South Carolina, is responsible for doing all of the chemical analyses for the project. Burch runs two separate analyses on soy beans, corn, and wheat to determine the nitrate and protein concentration.
“This internship is allowing me to conduct real experiments for the first time, and is teaching me the basic techniques and important minutiae necessary for accurate results,” says Burch. “This experience has made me passionate about being a biologist.”