duke university

Digital Eye in the Sky: Watching "Over" Antarctic Animals

The Duke University Marine Lab is the first to win Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate scientific drones and provide training. Their biggest drone is an amphibious plane with a 9-foot wingspan that can fly for 90 minutes at a time. Like several of their other drones, this one can fly itself back and forth within a predefined area, like “mowing the lawn” for data. David Johnston, assistant professor of the practice of marine conservation ecology at Duke University, has found that drone technology allows his research team to collect huge volumes of data from remote or extreme locations. He believes this is transforming how people study and learn about marine ecosystems.

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I got into Duke. I’m one of 29 finalists for the University Scholars Program which is basically full ride. I really hope I’ll get it. But even if I don’t, they’ll cover all my needs with grant rather than a loan. They’re ready to pay 66000$ for me, and this is crazy.
This email for some reason was in spam so there was a possibility of me nervously waiting for the decision I already have. Just imagine my shock when I found out.
But this post isn’t actually about my acceptance letter on March 9th. It’s about believing in yourself.
My SAT score is 2060 (CR 620, W 660, M 780), Bio is 630(well, I learnt the entire Barron’s book in foreign language in one month). I was just a needy student from Kazakhstan who can only pay 2000$ a year. I didn’t cure cancer, I wasn’t some computer genius. I just really wanted to leave Kazakhstan and study in the US.
While I had great GPA, recommendations and put all my efforts in the essays, I still thought that I wasn’t good enough. I still saw it as a dream, so far away from me.
Three weeks ago one psychic told my mom that everything is going to be great only if I believe in myself. Not hope, not wait, but believe. It hit me hard because I didn’t realize how special I am just because I tried.
So I sat down and “fake it till you make it” started: I told myself how smart, beautiful and amazing I was, although I didn’t fully believe it. I kept speaking with myself for hours and after a week I knew that I’m not going to cry from rejection because universities will lose me, whereas I’ll continue my journey.
After a couple of days, I receive this email. You can think whatever you want, but I believe in the law of attraction. I believe that you’re the only one who can help you. I believe that failure is a step to something bigger. I believe in myself.
I believe in you.
Please keep going.


I just saw that Duke University has a campaign just like my school’s! Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania launched the “Don’t Say” Initiative this past week and I fell in love with my school even more because of it. Go D2 Athletics!