A News Report on Net Neutrality: Past, Present, and Future

Net neutrality fosters an internet where sites are equal in loading speed and classifies it as a utility like the phone service. 1 It supports many commercial uses consumers like to indulge in such as streaming, uploading, and downloading.

Recognizing that the internet has an important aspect in many people’s lives, on February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) categorized the internet as a common carrier or company that produces and gives its products to consumers. 2,3   The decision to classify it as a common carrier allowed government regulation of the internet. Continue reading “A News Report on Net Neutrality: Past, Present, and Future”

Student Choice: Woodchuck Behavior

This is a student choice project where I could chose to do anything as an audio project. I decided to interview a professor who studies the behavior of woodchucks to get a better understanding of animal behavior.

Sounds used in order:

Kevin MacLeod

  1. Long Stroll
  2. Dissappointment
  3. Marty Gots a Plan
  4. Long Stroll (again)

Continue reading “Student Choice: Woodchuck Behavior”

Climate Change Affects the Maine Market

Here is my second piece for the USM Free Press.

Portland, Maine harbor; taken by me, 2017

The early arrival of spring may be a relief to the people of Portland, but for scientists, early spring means a rapidly changing ecosystem. According to the National Weather Service, in 2016, the average temperature in Portland was 48.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which was as high as 2012.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Andrew Pershing and USM’s Karen Wilson observed that the change in Maine’s temperature affected Maine’s lobster, cod and herring populations, which have influenced the Maine market. Both scientists noted the change in Maine’s temperature in 2012 and its effect on life.

You can read the rest here.

The USM Human Performance Lab Studies How to Maximize Exercise

Here is my first USM Free Press news article! Here I talk about the human performance lab at my college and what they’ve found on losing weight.

Human Performance Lab
Gorham’s Human Performance Lab; taken by me, 2017

On the [USM] Gorham campus, a Human Performance Lab has students hooked up to metabolic carts, a device used to measure oxygen consumed during exercise, to estimate how many calories they’ve burned. The goal of this research, according to Professor Christopher Scott of the Department of Exercise, Health and Sports Sciences, is to estimate energy expenditure before, during and after exercise.

If you’ve ever wondered how many calories you can burn while participating in a particular activity, such as bench pressing, bicycling or running, Scott has observed in his research that short, intense and intermittent exercise, followed by a recovery period, can help an individual burn the most fat.

You can read the rest here.



About Me

Here is me on top of a mountain.

Hi, I’m Heather and I’m a junior in college double majoring in communications and media minoring in biology and ecology.

I’m currently volunteering as a staff writer for my college’s newspaper. I specialized in science such as biology, physics, and chemistry.

During this summer and fall, I worked in a lab. I standardized and calibrated instruments part-time. I installed valves, fluid capacitors, and pumps. I aliquoted and packaged blood. I tested the instrument valve response, pull-in and latch out, and flow rate using oscilloscope, flow sensor, voltage meter, and specialized computer software.

As a part-timer, I’ve worked in this company before. I have a variety of experience there.

In January, as a social media intern, I wrote a toolkit for a non-profit organization geared toward education. I also monitored news outlets for articles related to K-12 education.

If interested in hiring me, you can ask for my résumé by filling out the contact section below.

Click below to contact me.

Continue reading “About Me”

P.J.M Elite Rhododendron

For a class project, I am taking photos of the plants in my yard and researching them to create an online brochure. Here is one of the many flora around my home!

Mini Rhododendron


This is the P.J.M Elite Rhododendron. This is a hybrid plant from Rhododendron carolinianum and Rhododendron dauricum.

P.J.M stands for the name, Peter John Mezitt who left Europe to set up a nursery in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1939, Mezitt’s son, Edmund, who worked at his father’s plant nursery, pollinated the Central Asian plant, R. dauricum, with the Virginian/Georgian R. carolinianum. In the spring of 1945, after the hybrid bloomed for the first time, Edmund named them after his father. ¹

The P.J.M Elite Rhododendron an broadleaf evergreen shrub that likes to live in moist, acidic soil. It can deal with the cold well (about -25 °F or -32 °C), but hates the wind. However, it prefers springtime and blooms between March and April. ²


  1. Klingaman, G. (2008, April 8). Rhododendron PJM. Retrieved April 09, 2017, from https://www.uaex.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/rhododendron-pjm-4-18-08.aspx
  2. Rhododendron ‘P.J.M. Elite’ – Plant Finder. (n.d.). Retrieved April 09, 2017, from http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d135

Corals and Symbiodium: The Relationship Explained

I chose to read and summarize the journal article, “The engine of the reef: Photobiology of the coral–algal symbiosis” written and researched by Melissa S. Roth. Ms. Roth’s report on the previous and present research on Scleractinia and Symbiodinium symbiosis includes discussion on light, photobiology of reef-building corals and their green algae, and the nature of their relationship. 

[Check out the slideshow for more.]

Untitled, 2014; my painting

The author introduces Scleractinia coral and Symbiodinium (photosynthetic dinoflagellates), by telling us that coral reefs, which are a huge part of the ecosystem, are at risk of depreciation. She briefly describes both eukaryotes’ taxonomy. The Symbiodinium (genus) is categorized by the kingdom Chromalveolata, division Pyrrhophyta, and the class Dinophyceae. Reef-building coral taxonomy as the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, and the order Scleractinia.

Continue reading “Corals and Symbiodium: The Relationship Explained”

The Price of Ignorance: Refusal to Vaccinate

I decided to read and write about the article entitled “What Vaccine Refusal Really Costs: Measles in Arizona” by Maryn McKenna.

Taken by Heather; 2016

Refusing or not bothering to get vaccinated cost lives. Just look at what happened in Arizona in February 2008.

McKenna reports that after visiting Mexico, a 37-year-old woman heads to Tucson. She neglected to get a measles vaccination and got sick some time during her vacation. Because she’s sick, she goes to the hospital.

Continue reading “The Price of Ignorance: Refusal to Vaccinate”

Intoxication of Marijuana: Pollan’s Botany of Desire Chapter Three

I decided to study and summarize Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire chapter three entitled “Desire: Intoxication Plant: Marijuana,” which deals with the history, culture, biology, and religion and cults of psychoactive drugs derived from marijuana as well as other plants and fungi.

Micheal Pollan’s Botany of Desire; taken by Heather, 2016

The author writes in great detail about the history of pot and other psychoactive drugs. Columbus brought pot-smoking to his native land after colonizing the Americas, but the Scythians were the first to invent a special contraption to experience the full effects of the drug (Pollan 128). The Greeks participated in the harvest festival of Demeter where they drink a mixture that gave them illusions (Pollan 147).

Continue reading “Intoxication of Marijuana: Pollan’s Botany of Desire Chapter Three”

What Causes Chronic Pain? A Summary of Ganter’s Presentation on his Study of Allodynia

Pain minimizes injury and death, but some people suffer from chronic pain or pain that lasts after an injury (allodynia). Because chronic pain costs 600 million dollars and affects 100 million people, we need to understand it.

Since fruit flies (Drosophila) have eighty-percent of human diseases and have similar nervous system to humans, Drosophila are perfect organisms to help researchers understand pain and disease.

Continue reading “What Causes Chronic Pain? A Summary of Ganter’s Presentation on his Study of Allodynia”