Right now, I am starting my analysis by looking at two sets of images: one from Google Earth, as well as another of near-infrared images taken by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife of the Oregon rocky shorelines. From these, I used a vegetation index, which uses the ratio between visual measures of the two images to get a scale of the amount of algae on these differing rocky beaches. From here, I’m hoping to work more with looking at the cover of mussels and barnacles, and maybe look into a few more factors that may be influenced by near-shore hydrodynamics. Although a nine-week period can be somewhat limiting, there is so much I can learn by beginning to explore west-coast shores.
One of the best parts of this experience is being able to meet all the faculty. For example, sitting at lunch a few days ago, I spoke with the professor teaching a course on algae for the UO students. She told me all about her research, and even offered me a few tips for my project! There are so many people at OIMB who are experts or have knowledge, and all of them have been willing to share. It’s a nurturing environment for research and I am growing as a scientist.
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.