Hello! I am a junior at Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, California, although I just moved here a year ago from Chico, California, where I had lived for my whole life. I first began my journey in science by raising butterflies when I was very young (the study of which I still pursue as a hobby), but I found my current interest - algae - after my fifth grade birthday, when my parents bought me a microscope as a present. I quickly began a habit of making weekly trips to local ponds and lakes to collect water to explore at microscopic proportions, and I began to cultivate their microorganisms and use them in simple experiments.
In my 9th and 10th grade years, I worked with Dr. Gordon Wolfe at California State University, Chico on a variety of studies with temperate marine microalgae, as well as a few independent projects. Since my move last summer, however, it has been very difficult for me to continue my research while I look for someone at a local university with whom I can work closely. My father had a kidney transplant the same summer, and combined with the move, my parents have not been able to financially back my increasingly complex research projects the way they used to when I was a kid. Although my school has supported me by offering me lab space and helping me connect with a few companies to borrow lab equipment, they are not able to fund me either.
The project I am focusing on now is one I have been interested in for a few years now, and I believe that it can definitely make a meaningful impact in both the pure and applied algal sciences. With your help, I hope to continue my exploration of the microscopic world by perfecting a new tool with which to identify the same algae I once excitedly observed, and present or publish my work so that it may help other scientists in their research. Thank you very much for your consideration!