Sooo we’ve all got to play around with microscopes back in middle school, but what fun was looking at a strand of hair over and over again?? I realize how dorky this sounds but I never realized how amazing the microscopic world really is until starting this class back in August. Our class meets twice a week for about an hour and a half, but we get to use compound microscopes for two hours in lab each Wednesday. I have discovered a whole new world under a 100x magnifying lens. So far we’ve had the chance to study live prokaryotic organisms, different strains of algae, and even types of bacteria used as biological indicators. It’s awesome actually being able to identify the different organelles and watch the organisms interact with eachother.

Even more so than staring at my microscopic friends, I love the class because it focuses on actual biotechnology and bioremediation applications in the environmental field. I now understand the basics of treating drinking water, toxic metals, and even waste through using micro-organisms and biotechnology. Each week we learn about different environmental case studies my professor, Dr. Pirbizari, has dealt with or found solutions for in the past. Learning how he solved a water crisis for the city of Chicago one summer, or how he trained certain microorganisms to digest PCP has been extremely inspiring and has given me a glimpse of ways I want to make industry cleaner and greener in the future.

While we are learning about super serious and technical topics, the vibe in our classroom is always very comfortable. There is only fourteen of us and our Professor encourages us to work together and ask questions during our lecture. This kind of environment has allowed me to establish a close relationship with a bunch of students in my major that I now recognize in some of my larger lectures. Hey everyone can always use another friend, and who doesn’t need a good study buddy right?!
I’m definitely excited to progress with this class and can’t wait to see what this week’s lab is about (again…actually being serious haha). I know all of the other majors within Viterbi offer classes that are very personal and specific to their interests or emphasis’ too so get stoked about class…it can be  really really cool!!