This past weekend I got away from the slightly hectic nature of poster week to celebrate birthdays with my parents, aunt and uncle, in Bandon. It was a relaxing escape, and I returned to OIMB energized and ready to share my research!
What a great week it was! Tuesday was my 20th birthday and all the other interns surprised me by decorating the hallway of our dorm and then filling my room with balloons. Nobody has ever done something like that for me, and it was a wonderful way to start my morning. We learned about sharing science with non-scientists with Trish at the Charleston Marine Life Center, then headed to the beach. Jacob, a SoCal native, taught us how to surf. I even managed to stand up on my third try.
Wednesday we had our poster sessions, where we got questioned about our research. The poster session was one of my favorite parts of the summer, I really enjoyed sharing my research and having people who were willing to listen to me gush about what I’m passionate about. I also loved being able to see the end work of everyone else’s research. We all did so well and learned so much from this experience, the payoff was great.
Thursday we got to share our research in an accessible way with the visitors at the Charleston Marine Life Center. Although not many people are interested in surf zone hydrodynamics, I definitely think I helped people appreciate seaweed a little bit.
And now I’m leaving, and it’s a very surreal feeling. By the time this blog is posted, I’ll be halfway done with my first day of classes in Miami. I’m going to miss Charleston and it’s flavorful locals, the fishy smell, and the rickety docks. I’m going to miss the amazing friends I made here and working in the most amazing lab. It’s bittersweet, though, because all good things have to come to an end for more opportunities to open up.
I’m going to end my final blog with _ things I learned as and OIMB REU Intern.
This week was the most busy and the most stressful yet, but now I feel so fulfilled with all the work I have done. Much of the week was spent working on our posters. Making a scientific poster is an art, it seems. Finding the right information to space ratio and knowing how to write vital information in a succinct way is difficult, but rewarding. I learned a lot also about how to take criticism in a constructive way (thanks, Richard).
Most of my mornings were spent up early, sampling my final sites for my project. Waking up before the sun is difficult, but so very rewarding. With the help of my fellow interns, I made work fun. I couldn’t have done this project without the others who woke up early with me to help me out. I’m so glad to be in a community where we all want to see each other succeed.
On Thursday, I drove to Port Orford, about an hour drive south of Charleston to try to sample at a nice rocky outcropping in Port Orford Head’s State Park. Jacob and Nico came along for the ride. The location was absolutely gorgeous, but the tide wasn’t low enough for me to sample the algae. Instead, we took the time to walk on the beach, get coffee, climb rocks, and just enjoy nature. What could have been a disappointing morning turned out to be a fun time with friends.
Friday night was the invertebrate ball, an OIMB event with excellent invertebrate costumes. Salp squad ended up coming out on top, but seeing the creativity of others was amazing. There were some really great and really unique costumes. I am so fortunate to be in a place where dressing up with five of your friends as a salp is not only accepted, but cool as well.
Last weekend was just an absolutely perfect experience. Saturday morning we left OIMB at 7:30 am to drive to Newport. Our first stop was Oregon State’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, a collaborative community of scientists from the university and various different government institutions. We got a tour of the facilities and even met an REU student who is interning at HMSC this summer. It was lovely to see what different types of marine stations are like. We then toured the visitor center. Afterwards, we had lunch on the beach and visited the aquarium! They had opened a new exhibit since I was there last and it was cool to see all the different types of exhibits.
After the aquarium, Kaz, Jacob, Nico, Claire and I hopped in my car and drove to Portland for a 5K race at the Nike World Headquarters! It was a beautiful time to run in the warm weather with such great people. My sister ran the race as well, and my parents came and watched. Afterwards, we had a wonderful dinner at McMenamins, a really cool chain of eclectic eateries and breweries in Oregon. We all drove back to my home in Albany to spend the night.
On Sunday, we relaxed the morning away eating avocado toast and fresh peaches, drinking coffee, and watching birds. I was really happy to show everyone where I lived, and the wonderful animals my family has! Claire especially enjoyed meeting the llamas and horses. I thought it was really cool to show them a side of Oregon living that they otherwise would never have seen. Around noon, we packed up in the car for an adventurous drive back to Charleston. Our first stop was Mary’s Peak, the tallest mountain in Oregon’s coastal range. We drove almost to the peak, then hiked the half mile trail to panoramic views of the coastal range, on one of the clearest days I’ve ever seen there. Our next stop was in Yachats (pronounced Yah-hots, not yach-ats), where we got ice cream and walked around the cute town. We then entered Cape Perpetua natural area, and explored the sea gardens at Devil’s Chasm and watched the churning waters at Thor’s Well.
We are reaching crunch time! Poster design is in full swing. All of the interns have been stressed out, but it’s very exciting at the same time. I love how cooperative we are all, we all just want each other to succeed. Designing posters has been super fun and it’s very helpful to have insight from a group of positive people. I’m trying my hand at some basic graphic design to try to make a simple diagram of shore morphology, which involved me spending a lot of time learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.
Everyone has something they're passionate about: running, video games, dogs, etc. For me, I've always been passionate about learning, and not just in a going to school way. Learning, talking, thinking, sharing, reading. Here at OIMB, I am surrounded by an environment saturated with ways to learn. This summer I'm going to take my passion and apply it to the ocean.
I am entering my third year at the University of Miami (Florida), majoring in Marine Science, Biology, and Applied Math. To be very honest, going into college, I had no idea what it really meant to be a marine biologist, or really why I wanted to study marine biology other than it seemed really cool. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, or even if being a marine biologist was my end goal. I decided to volunteer in a lab specializing in biological oceanography, just because I knew the researcher, and I became hooked. Because of my introduction to biological oceanography in that lab, I am interested in how physical processes in the ocean work alongside biological phenomena, and the interaction between the physical and biological worlds.
This summer, I wanted to do really learn and understand what it's like the actually study marine biology in a professional setting. I began browsing through countless REU and internship programs, trying to find one that aligned with my interests. When I found the OIMB REU, I knew it was the one I wanted to do. My mentor, Alan Shanks, is someone whose work I have known about, and whose interests are quite like my own. As an added cherry-on-top bonus, the REU is in my home state! As much as I love Miami, I want to learn more about the ocean and rocky environments on the west side of the country. I hope that having an opportunity to pursue personal research, formed around my personal interests will allow me to understand the reality of being a research scientist and motivate me to continue on this path.