Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
In high school, I thought that science was very straightforward and rigid - you followed the scientific method by making an observation, formulating a hypothesis, performing and experiment, and then making conclusions based on your results. When I began forest ecology research, I quickly realized that it is often difficult or impossible to perform an experiment on forest dynamics. Oftentimes, I rely on natural experiments where nature has created by control and experimental group. For instance, I can look at the effect of natural treefall on the community when compared to an adjacent part of the forest without recent treefall. I also learned that sometimes scientists don't begin research with a particular hypothesis or even expected conclusion - some of the most interesting research I have been involved in was on long-term plots, which were set up to simply see how the forest is changing over time.