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Inara Ilse presenting her research project at the Mohawk Watershed Symposium at Union College.

Inara Ilse ’24, left, presenting her research project along with her mentor Dr. Jacqueline Smith at the Mohawk Watershed Symposium at Union College.

Columbia High School junior Inara Ilse ’24 presented her Science Research project at the Mohawk Watershed Symposium at Union College on Friday. She was the only high school student presenting research at the event. Each of the other projects were presented by college students, college professors and professionals from environmental organizations such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYS Water Resources Institute, and Riverkeeper.

Ms. Ilse’s project is titled “Microplastic analysis of high-flow and low flow streams located in Rensselaer County,” which is being done through Columbia’s Science Research program.

She was joined at the symposium by her mentor Dr. Jacqueline Smith, a research professor of geosciences from Union College.

“Inara has accumulated many hours working on this project that she is very passionate about,” said Columbia Science Teacher Heidi Gleason who coordinates the Science Research program.  “Her being asked to present her work in such a venue is remarkable.”