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Peter deKoning

Employer: The King’s University
Position: USRA/NSERC Research Assistant
Location: Edmonton, AB
Dates: Apr 27 to Aug 24, 2007

My summer internship was divided between a number of places and projects. I began my summer at The King’s University as a research assistant to Dr. Vern Peters. I studied the effects of snowshoe hare herbivory on white spruce in Northern Alberta.

Part-way through the summer I spent one month on Whidbey Island off the Washington coast. I took a course called Ornithology: Western Birds at the Ausable Institute for Environmental Studies. It was a great learning experience for me, where we spent lots of time in the field and I saw many new places.

After finishing the month in Washington, I came back to King’s and continued to work on the project mentioned above. I spent a lot of time in the lab analyzing data we had collected in the field. I had a variety of different tasks in lab, from aging and weighing trees, to doing literature reviews.

To break up the time I also did cone surveys on a number of different tree species throughout Alberta as part of another monitoring project Dr. Peters is working on. I learned how to conduct my own field research (all the from the planning to the cleaning up), and at the same time got to see Alberta all the way from Fort McMurray to Waterton National Park.

Dr. Peters was a great supervisor to learn from, and King’s was a great work environment. I gained valuable research skills, and was still given the freedom at times to take the research where I felt it should go. Overall, it was a wonderful experience