“Hiking all over the place, getting to drive the skiff on Mendenhall Lake, and flying up to the ice fields, it was pretty great. I’ve talked to students who’ve gone to universities elsewhere and they never get to do any of this.”
Jennifer Shinn is originally from Ketchikan.
During her time at UAS, Shinn has been able to work with UAS faculty studying some of the most unique natural features in Alaska. “I’ve done a lot of work with glaciers,” she said. “I’ve worked for Environmental Science faculty Eran [Hood] since last April. He was the supervisor for my undergraduate research project, changes in leachable, dissolved organic material and glaciated soil near the Mendenhall Glacier.”
Shinn, Hood, former UAS undergrad Melissa Woodgate, and postdoctorate Andy Vermilyea, presented the project findings in California this year. “[We] went to San Francisco and presented at the American Geophysical Union with our poster,” Shinn said. “That was pretty sweet.”
Being out in the field was a highlight of her college career. She especially enjoyed summer field work for several projects. “Hiking all over the place, getting to drive the skiff on Mendenhall Lake, and flying up to the ice fields, it was pretty great. The [field work] is totally unique to UAS. I’ve talked to students who’ve gone to universities elsewhere and they never get to do any of this.”
Graduate school might not be on Shinn’s radar immediately after graduation, but she is looking forward to a summer of lab and field work.
“I think I’m done with the homework for a little while. I might eventually go to grad school but I’ll have to be inspired before that happens. I’m working for Eran [Hood] through August doing lab and field [work]. I don’t know what I’ll do after that. I guess I’ll just go wherever the wind blows me.”
Shinn enjoys being in the outdoors, especially on the water, and wearing flip-flops in all weather. “I enjoy hiking, and kayaking and otherwise boating in general,” she said. “Generally anything [that’s] outdoors in the sunshine. My grandma actually makes [flip-flop socks] for me because I wear flip-flops year round. It’s a knitted sock with no toes and it goes really well with my flip-flops and they keep my feet warm in the snow. My friends give me such a hard time.”