My time during the Misasa International Internship Program has been an incredible experience thus far. The project on which we are working consists of analyzing various chondrules and refractory inclusions from Allende, Murchison, and Murray meteorites to assess the formation and evolution of primitive materials within the solar nebula. We have had the opportunity to analyze the specimen with many different analytical techniques. We are currently determining the trace element composition of our specimen with data from inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and determining whole rock composition by a combination of data from the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and phase map diagrams we produced ourselves. We utilize many other analytical techniques, including electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA), laser ablation-ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS), and isotope dilution. We work frequently in a clean lab and side-by-side with professors and post-docs currently attending this University.
Similarly, while completing my undergraduate thesis, I worked with iron meteorites using similar analytical techniques to analyze the formation and evolution of meteorites within the solar nebula. This internship project has revealed new and alternative ways to analyze meteorites assessing mineral assemblages and textual relationships.
Aside from the meteoritic work, this internship has provided me with an amazing opportunity to discover different areas of Japan. I traveled to many places, where I climbed sand dunes, swam in the Japanese Sea, attended festivals, watched fireworks, ate interesting and exotic foods, and biked along a river while surrounded by vast mountains. We have chatted (loosely) with the locals and enjoyed the miraculous views of the surrounding mountains and all the brilliant sunsets. I have been introduced to so many new experiences both personally and academically I am very excited for what the upcoming week basin store.