Kaitlyn Mills, RaMP Participant
Working with Dr. Mandy Guinn at United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on using a free GIS software to make a variety of maps representing the field sites we visited this summer for our bat research. We have also finally collected all the samples from colleagues around the country, so our next step will be in the lab where I will learn how to analyze DNA of the different species we worked with. The goal of my project is to discover more about Little Brown bats (Myotis lucifigus) in the Great Plains and how they are responding to White Nose Syndrome— a fungi infection that has been killing hibernating bat species for over five years now as it spreads across the continent.
What is your favorite part of this experience?
My favorite part of this experience is the support I am receiving from my mentor and colleagues here at United Tribes as well as from the mentors at NDSU. We are all assigned a single mentor, but everyone is available to me for questions, guidance, or recommendations. It’s been great knowing I have a new network of kind people in my field(s) of interest that are eager to teach me whatever I wish to learn. It gives me hope for any future endeavors once the year is up.
What do you enjoy most about Fargo?
My mentor is a professor at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, so I am a little ways away from my fellow RaMP buddies. The few times I have visited Fargo I have loved the energy of the community; specifically visiting downtown restaurants/shops. With Bismarck, I have enjoyed the small town in a big town aspect. When I drive past the edge of town, I get to look at pretty fields growing different things, and when I’m in town, it feels like one big community. Moving away from my friends and family was hard, but this town and environment I’ve been placed in makes it a lot easier.