Alexa Kaminski, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is majoring in environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). She conducted her research with a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research. Alexa was first exposed to her research topic during a guest lecture. Later that year, her professor sent an email detailing a research project, and Alexa jumped on the opportunity. She was excited to conduct a project on her own that would have real, significant results, and she liked working each day on something important and worthwhile. Through the research process, Alexa learned that nothing goes as planned and everything takes longer than anticipated. Even when you plan everything out on paper and account for every step and possibility, you can still experience something totally unexpected in the lab. On working with her mentor and other colleagues, Alexa said, “They were always around to answer questions and help when I needed it, but I was able to make choices and do a lot of work on my own.” After graduating from UNH, Alexa hopes to attend graduate school. She plans to study sustainability with a focus on its societal and economic effects. Through her SURF project, she has learned that she has a passion for working with stakeholders and the public, taking concrete steps toward sustainable development.