This past weekend, some of the REU students and I went on a few fun Oregon outings! On Saturday, we went to Hall Lake. The lake is situated at the base of a beautiful big sand dune, and is much much warmer than the ocean. Upon arriving, we promptly ran to the top of the dune. The Oregon dunes look out of this world, like we landed on Tatooine. Just rolling piles of sand everywhere. We spent the day swimming in the lake and playing volleyball. It’s so nice to have a few days off work to play in all of the natural wonderland of Oregon. On Sunday, Nicole, Leela, and I did some yoga after lunch then went on a nice fresh hike to Shore Acres, admiring the intense coastal landscape. We finished off the weekend with a sunset bonfire on the OIMB beach, with Zade supplying live music.
The first tide I could go sample was on Saturday 22 July, so in the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of planning, finding people to sample with me, taking into account driving times and differing tides in order to be as efficient as possible with my sampling. There is so much that goes into sampling, as far as preparation! I’m really excited to get out of the lab for a few days and into the intertidal.
The first sample on Saturday went really well. Jacob is an early riser so he assisted me with sampling and processing early in the morning. We got to Cape Arago at 6:00 am, right at the low tide. The sun was rising and the sky was cotton candy. Everything went without a hitch, and I have five more days of sampling to go!
Mutualism: I helped Jacob collect hermit crabs for his project and he helped me sample and dry algae
On Monday, we got to hear a PhD defense by Keats Conley, from Kelly Sutherland’s lab, based in Eugene. Her defense was extremely thought provoking for me. Most of her work was on the feeding mechanisms and selectivity in tunicates. Her research was especially cool because most of her data was done by observation, explaining physical processes by understanding what she was observing. Being able to hear about just how varied these graduate students research makes me excited for my future in science.
We presented our research proposals on Wednesday to the other interns, as well as the REU coordinators Richard and Maya. There is a huge difference between knowing your project and sharing it. All the questions from my peers made me realize how important it is to be able to explain your ideas in an efficient way. Some people might not like being grilled about their research, but I think I learned a lot of useful informations about my own research from the questions of others.
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.