This past weekend, I drove three hours home to Albany to visit my sisters and cousins. Although the drive was long, it was beautiful, and it’s always good to be home and back with my fellow interns.
Early Sunday morning, I departed Oregon to go to Washington, D.C. in order to attend an orientation for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholars programs. After a quick visit with my boyfriend, who lives in DC, I headed to the NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, for a grueling two day orientation. The hours of meetings was much less exciting than meeting all of the other amazing Hollings Scholars. The Hollings Scholarship is for students pursuing degrees in fields related to NOAA’s interests, chiefly marine sciences and meteorology. Whenever I am surrounded by such dedicated and passionate scientists, like I am at OIMB, I am so inspired and humbled. Experiences like this drive me to be a better person and a driven scientist.
In between field ventures, I have been looking into quantifying the slope of the shorelines on which I am studying. I’ve been using something called GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software. I’ve worked with GIS before and it’s such a powerful tool to have around. Now I can include more data about the slope of the surf zone into my project! The picture I included is for the slope analysis of Cape Arago. GIS is awesome!
Of course, it's not all work and no play at OIMB!
Thursday night, we went to the house of Jan Hodder, another one of OIMB's amazing people. Her house is just off this place called Fossil Point, and we spent a while walking around and looking down at all the cool ancient creatures. Jan also cooked us some amazing local albacore tuna, which was probably one of the top five meals of 2017 for me.
On Friday, the REU interns drove two hours to the University of Oregon main campus is Eugene. We toured the natural history museum, and I learned even more about my home state’s history. Oregon has a rich history, from the many traditions of the First Nations tribes who made the area their home, to Megalonyx jersonii, the giant ground sloth that used to stomp around the Willamette Valley. We also toured the UO Ecology and Evolution labs. It was really cool to learn more about scientific research that’s not in Marine Science. It is amazing how much time people put into their work, and I can’t wait to be doing something I love at such an intense level.
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.