September 17, 2012

Uncharted Waters


Beatriz Recinos:

My name is Beatriz Recinos.

I'm from El Salvador. And, I was on a UGRAD scholarship studying in Humboldt University in Arcata, California. I studied physics and oceanography. When I graduated from high school
there was no oceanography here in El Salvador so, I decided to study physics instead.

When I heard about this scholarship, I was very specific in the fact that there is no major here in El Salvador. Once I got the scholarship, I got really excited because I was going to have the chance to study what I really wanted to study. When I went to Humboldt, we went several times to the sea and get samples and do fieldwork.

It was really interesting because here in El Salvador cientists don't do that much fieldwork
because we don't have the equipment and we don't have that much (great labs) that Humboldt has. When I went to Humboldt I had to choose some of the physics classes and I choose this astrophysics class.

The teacher said we were going to have a night of observation with this telescope in Puerto Rico
and we discovered that there was a pattern that wasn't common. and it wasn't marked, so the teacher said. It was a galaxy. And, we got to name it. Everybody said like, oh you saw it, you have to name it.

And that was really interesting because I don't know if anyone in El Salvador can say the same thing. Every UGRAD has to make a proposal. We taught this oceanography class in physics camp. We taught several labs about ocean waves and ocean geology. They were really motivated with the oceans and the physics of that.

People really don't study oceanography because they don't even know what it is here in El Salvador. I really want them to know that there's this field that can make a lot of contribution to the country. I hope that one day I could be really helpful for the country needs.