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Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Central

  • Organization
    Northwestern University and The Chicago Botanic Garden

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Many living things have lost their homes as people have built building and roads. My research looks into ways that we can use special rooftop gardens, called green roofs, to give some homes back to plants and animals that can live alongside people in cities.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    As a scientist, I get to make new discoveries and learn new things about plants, insects, and ecology. It's really exciting! Since I started to learn more about plants I have been able to meet other scientists from all over the world and share ideas and learn from their experiences too. I find it really fun to learn new things all the time, especially since I get to study plants in the city where I live. It helps me to appreciate the nature that is all around us.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is tough about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    In science, things don't always work out the way you planned. Sometimes I spend a lot of time planning an experiment and maybe it just doesn't work or maybe the results are really confusing. This past summer I spent a lot of time setting up an experiment on a rooftop and when I came back later, some birds had destroyed the whole thing! It can be very frustrating when your plans don't work out but as a scientist, you have to be very flexible and ready to change your plans or ideas whenever you run into problems.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    There are many plants that I love but one of my favorites is called Nodding Onion, or Allium cernuum if you are using the correct scientific Latin name. This plant grows in fields in northern Illinois where I am from and it is also really good at growing on green roofs. It is from the same plant family and the onions that we eat and it has really pretty flowers that remind me of fireworks.

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    German

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    2

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