Irene Archives

First day as a CAS docent!

It's been quite a while since I've updated, especially since I left off with talking about my musings about grad school. Since then, I've decided to create a separate blog just about my grad school musings; most of the posts are quite technical, focusing on each school, potential professors and such. The road to grad school is really, really quite confusing!

While thinking about grad school and being a lab assistant, I had been thinking about volunteering. I have enjoyed volunteering at the Botanical Garden, and I consider my time as a CNR PAL as a kind of community service (but being a PAL also helped me develop so many leadership and people skills!), so I knew I wanted to help the general community in some way. I also knew that I wanted to "keep in touch" with the evolution and botanical aspects of my undergraduate career (that I feel like I don't get a lot of while doing research on maize genetics), and I had such a fabulous internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History that I decided that the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) would be the perfect venue to volunteer for.

continue reading "First day as a CAS docent!" »

Irene Liao
posted February 27, 2011 12:29 AM

In thinking about grad school...Part I

I finally had a conversation with my PI about graduate school and how I should approach it. I was becoming antsy about this topic because I had so many ideas or so many interests that I didn't know where to start looking. I have looked at some people and their research interests, but I haven't read their papers. Yet I wasn't entirely satisfied with where and what lab/program I should be looking at.

So my conversation went in a roundabout way, starting from my interests in applying for some fellowships/scholarships in the UK. But we finally got to the main point, which was, basically, where do I start looking? I love getting lots of people's perspectives; some people start with reading papers and looking at what universities those people are associated with. Others look for a good general program. My previous PI gave me some names, some that resonated with me, some that took some time for me to warm up to. I guess in the end, I'm just really picky, and a bit selective.

continue reading "In thinking about grad school...Part I" »

Irene Liao
posted September 21, 2010 4:20 PM

Quick Introduction and Update

It's been a while since I've written a blog for CNR! Most of all, it's a bit weird to say that I'm blogging as an alumni and not as a PAL anymore! I believe most of my blog posts are still on the website, and it's quite fun to read through them and see how life is different now that I'm not officially a student anymore.

My last post as a PAL needs to be updated slightly. Since then, I have found a job as a Laboratory Assistant in Jay Hollilck's lab in PMB. Although I seem to have quite an extensive range of research experiences, this one is quite different from anything I've done before. First of all, I'm working with maize constantly. I was incredibly afraid I was allergic to corn pollen (and I may be slightly), but so far, I've survived. However, the biggest difference from all of my other research experience is that I'm working more on genetics-based questions, trying to figure out how an epigenetic phenomenon called paramutation works in maize. It's really quite fascinating, and I'm enjoying my time working in the fields as well as in the lab.

continue reading "Quick Introduction and Update" »

Irene Liao
posted August 29, 2010 10:35 PM