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5 Things About Me: Graduate Student Grace Conyers

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CEO of Insanitek Grace Conyers hosts science workshops for the public.

Grace Conyers
CEO of Insanitek
Graduate Student at Purdue University
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


Background:
I am currently studying the fate of cosmogenic beryllium in organic material. Upon finding out that white rot and brown rot fungi had very little bearing on the concentration of the 10Be in degraded wood, I am now looking at a nutrient cycle in a natural forest setting. I hope to use this information to more accurately use 10Be in soil dating for archaeology and Quaternary geology, soil erosion and geomorphology projects.

Question 1: Why did you become a researcher?
Answer: I chose to become a research scientist because I love to ask "why" and then dig in and find the answer.

Question 2: What are you most proud of in your work?
Answer: I'm proud of asking questions. Being relatively new to my field, I see things that my colleagues sometimes don't. So far it has led to two unique research ideas.

Question 3: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: One of the things I'm most passionate about in science is our relationship to the general non-academic public. Once or twice a week I hold workshops to teach the public about something in science. I believe that it is my duty to inform the public as much as I can about what we do with the tax money that gets spent on science. I try my best to answer their concerns and encourage them to seek answers themselves.

Question 4: What's your favorite food? Got a sweet tooth? Caffeine junkie?
Answer: I'm positively addicted to tea. I'm also a health food fanatic with the occasional craving for junk food.

Question 5: Read a book you are dying to tell your peers about? Give us a brief summary and why you love it.
Answer: The book that has made a recent impact on me is "The Black Company\ series by Glen Cook. The Black Company is a mercenary band that is often employed by rulers of countries to fight their wars. The series tells the tales of these mercenaries from the point of view of the Annalist, or the one that writes down the history of The Black Company. The series really digs down into the brotherhood of this company as well as human nature during times of turmoil as well as peace. The stories talk about honour and humour as well as the uglier sides of human nature -- such as raping and pillaging after a city is taken. The main theme through the books, however, are hope and brotherhood. Yes, it is a fiction novel, but the characters and story really motivated me to push harder for what I wanted to do in life.

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CEO of Insanitek Grace Conyers hosts science workshops for the public. "I try my best to answer their concerns and encourage them to seek answers themselves," she says. (Photo: Grace Conyers)
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