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.
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.