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.
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.