Thomas Heron 2017-08-30 01:17:30
Graduate Research Assistant Penn State University, Ag Systems Management and Environment Resource Management, B.S., 2016 University of Idaho, Soil and Land Resources, M.S., 2018 Hometown: Kunkletown, Pennsylvania Enjoys: Music, concerts, mountain biking, and hiking/backpacking Iam Pennsylvania proud! I loved growing up in the Keystone State, knew about Penn State’s rich agricultural history and its prestigious College of Agricultural Sciences, so a state school felt exactly right for me. A short time after walking into the campus buildings of my department and meeting my professors, I realized that it was up to me to embrace many different learning opportunities. Innovation is discovery and design that delivers improvements and adjustments as well as social and economic value. Inspiring innovators are those who let go of pre-existing notions and listen to their instincts to try things differently. Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Internships are opportunities that empower innovative thinking. I had three important experiences. The summer after my junior year, I completed a research internship in a soil chemistry lab at Iowa State University—another great ag school. There I was fortunate to work with leading biochar researchers on a carbon characterization experiment. The next summer, I completed a second research internship at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. There I learned to model a bioenergy system. During my senior year, I took an embedded travel course called The Co-evolution of the Land and People. On that trip, I learned about the implications of various land ownership philosophies in the context of many different civilizations throughout history. At the end of the semester, I traveled to Ireland with one of my professors to meet with environmental and agricultural professionals in the Irish government and learn about the nation’s policies within these sectors. ASM is an exciting area of study, and in college, you are surrounded by students with similar passions and new and different ideas. Embrace the power of synergy and innovate!
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