GEM Environmental is excited to welcome one of our new members to the team. Annette Sunda is our new AML Monitoring Technician!
Annette currently calls the Land of Enchantment (aka New Mexico) home, but she has also lived in Arizona, California, and Washington State. She feels that most people who know her will tell you that her main interests are playing with sand and swimming, however, she would like to think that her interests are much more diverse. Annette enjoys exploring, paddle boarding, camping and hiking, along with gardening, quilting, and experimenting with recipes. She has always been fascinated with science. Growing up in the outdoors, she was extremely curious about everything around her. This led to her firm belief that “an education steeped in STEM gives us the tools to understand the natural and not so natural world around us: Math is the language that connects us, Engineering gives us the reason to solves our problems, Technology is ubiquitous in our everyday life and Science teaches us to focus and harness curiosity”. Welcome to the team, Annette!
How did you hear about this service opportunity?
For the last four or five years, I have been on the sidelines of GEM, always watching in amazement at the great things being done and helping where I can. I heard about this opportunity when it was in its infancy and was excited that this was an opportunity that would put my diverse skills to work.
Please provide a brief description highlighting your work/area of focus.
My main research focus through college was investigating sand and how it moves across the Navajo Nation with specific attention given to composition and grain size sorting as a factor of transport height above ground.
What do you plan to accomplish during your service term with GEM?
As much as I possibly can!
To quote Norman Vincent Peale “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
What are your career goals?
As a total fangirl of GEM, I can easily say that my career goal is long term growth with GEM and helping expand operations in New Mexico.
Do you plan to continue your education? If so, what programs or school are you looking into and what is the highest degree you plan to earn?
I like to consider myself a lifelong learner. It took me ten years to finish my Associate of Art another five years to complete my Bachelor of Science and three more years to achieve my Master of Science in Computer Science. I believe eventually I will work toward a Doctoral degree, however, at this time in my life I am satisfied with learning for fun. I believe in a year or two I will be back in community college courses learning something new.
Have you had any other internship or service opportunities before this? If so, how do you believe internships have benefited you so far?
I started participating in internship programs while working on my undergraduate degree. I have completed a total of four internship programs: Project Accesso at CSU Channel Islands, Jack Kent Cooke Bridges at UCSB, NAU/NASA Space Grant, and the Pathways Internship program at the U.S. Geologic Survey Astrogeology Science Center. Each internship program had a unique focus, from learning valuable data collection and analysis skills to learning how to effectively communicate complicated science problems to the average person. I would encourage every student, regardless of their focus, to apply to as many internship opportunities as possible.
To learn more about Annette check out her profile: