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May 28, 2014

Passion for environmental research leads to little idle time

Ada —

Linzi Thompson is not the kind of person who kicks back with rest and relaxation during her breaks from pursuing an East Central University degree.

Her passion for environmental health science leads to very little idle time for the junior from Sulphur.

With a double-major in environmental health science and chemistry, Thompson is headed to China this summer for an internship through Alabama A&M University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates and funded by the National Science Foundation. This is coming off the heels of a trip to Cambodia over the Christmas break in which she did marine conservation research and taught English to children.

Thompson’s 10-week stay in China, from May 18-July 20, is expected to include research on heavy metal pollution. Her mentor will be Dr. Elica Moss and Dr. Malinda Gilmore who will not be making the trip but will be providing guidance via Skype from Alabama A&M.

Thompson is one of only 10 applicants, out of 150 from across the country, selected to make the trip. She will be staying at Nanjing Forestry University and gaining six credit hours through this internship experience.

Though this trip will be fully-funded, her previous trip to Cambodia came at her own expense. She paid her own way, nearly $3,000, to make the three-week journey to the Asian country in December, applying her knowledge, skills and zest in conservation research.

Thompson made the trip through a group called the Society for Environmental Exploration, headquartered in London, England.

“I wanted to see another part of the world. I had never been to Asia before,” Thompson said.

A long bus ride, which took eight hours instead of the intended six, was Thompson’s first experience. Twenty-five people were crammed into a 20-person van with chickens in the back, according to Thompson

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