Bear continues to do well academically finishing the second semester with a 4.0. He came home for a short period of time, but is now back at school to be part of a research project. Despite the fact he's basically a freshman, and he hasn't had organic chemistry yet, he's been brought on to assist with testing and research of a long running study. The purpose of the study is to try and restore the American chestnut tree to it's former appearance. Apparently, if they can't determine what's impacting the tree's growth, then the American chestnut tree will cease to exist.
Basically, my understanding is he'll be testing the impact of fungus on the tree's cells. His group's part of the study is to try and understand why the Asian chestnut tree is resistant to fungi while the American version isn't.
I'll miss him during the testing period, but it's only for about 6 weeks and this was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It exposes him to the type of work he's considering doing and it looks much better on a resume than lifeguarding or teaching swim lessons for the 3rd straight year.