Professional Statement

Hello! My name is Ryan Lawrence and I am a sophomore at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. I believe that gaining knowledge, properly applying it, and sharing one’s knowledge with others is the key to success. In our modern, technology-based society, not only scientists and engineers, but all people need to be science-literate if they are expected to make responsible, environmentally conscious decisions. Therefore, I have been inspired to pursue a degree in Chemistry and minor in Public Administration. While at ECSU it is my goal to obtain an outstanding education. In doing so, I will be able to effectively utilize my skills and abilities, prepare myself not only as a researcher but also as a future graduate student, and a compassionate and informed leader.

During the summer of 2009 I had the opportunity to participate in NSF-Watershed Watch at ECSU, under the leadership of Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Linda Hayden (ECSU) and Dr. Barry Rock (University of New Hampshire) and my mentor Dr. Jeff Schloss, from the University of New Hampshire. The interdisciplinary course allowed me to use a wide range of scientific methods, including water quality testing and satellite imagery analysis to study the aquatic and terrestrial parts of the Pasquotank watershed, located in northeastern North Carolina.

In addition to gaining scientific insight, working diligently during NSF-Watershed Watch 2009 granted me the opportunity to present my group’s research at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creative Symposium held at the Center for Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships on the campus of University of North Carolina at Wilmington on November 21, 2009. Also, I presented the research at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California on December 12, 2009. The research “Human Impacts on the Water Quality of the Pasquotank” focused on determining how urban development, agriculture, and wastewater treatment facilities affect the Pasquotank Watershed. We tested different locations using various chemical parameters, such as pH, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen percent, dissolved oxygen levels, etc.

For the summer of 2010, I interned at ECSU for the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Sciences (URE OMPS) 2010, which is directed by Principal Investigator, Dr. Linda Hayden. This internship has provided me with valuable knowledge and experience that will aid in my career, as it opens doors to additional research opportunities. As a member of the Impact team, we conducted research with our mentor Dr. Malcolm LeCompte (ECSU). The research titled “Survey of Post LGM Environment” focused on providing evidence supporting the possibly of an extraterrestrial impact 12, 900 B.P. using evidential markers, such as the presence of charcoal, glass-like carbon, carbon spherules, etc. Conducting this research gave me the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience, and work with state of the art research instruments, such as the scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Upon receiving my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry, it is my aspiration to obtain a Master’s of Science degree and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Environmental Science. While obtaining my degrees, a personal goal of mine is to mentor students. I would like to assist future generations in becoming successful by contributing to their wealth of knowledge, providing encouragement, support, and being a positive role model. With the knowledge, insight, and skills that I will gain throughout my pursuit of a higher education, it is my goal to continue conducting research, invest in my community by implementing various math/science programs, and assist the public in becoming more science-literate and environmentally freindly.