I can’t believe this internship is over! We finished up this week with a poster session presenting our work to the science community of Coos Bay. They really gave us so much support. We also got to present a little of our projects at the Charleston Marine Life Center with some hands-on activities which was a lot of fun. We also filled our week with a lot of adventures, which my favorites included surfing and a potato cannon at Richard Emlet’s house.
I’m grateful for Craig who has taught me that history is important even in science. Craig helped us find papers and books that were applicable to our projects that were older than available on the internet and so valuable! He also has the most fantastic library where he has collected old microscopes and books. He’s taught me the value of knowing the heritage behind what you study. It makes you actually appreciate the work that other people have put in before you.
I’m grateful for the chance I had to work in the supportive environment at the OIMB. The graduate students and professors have created an amazing atmosphere. The entire time we have been here everyone is willing to help us answer our questions and have the greatest experience we can.
I’m so grateful that I met all of these amazing interns! I am going to miss them. They have become such great friends. I’ve learned a lot from them. We all came from different backgrounds with various interests. We studied different things but we’ve come together. This experience would have been the same without each and every one them.
I just want to thank everyone for their support during this internship. This has been the best experience and one I would highly recommend. It’s been really influential and completely positive.
This week has consisted of a lot of data analysis and poster making. For a lot of us this is our first time making a scientific poster for a presentation. There’s been a lot of group interaction and peer reviewing both formal and informal which has been really helpful. We have a good group of interns here!
I’ve been trying to soak up the beach and the beauty of this area! Kaz and I have gone on many beach adventures and runs this week! I think it’s really important to explore the place that you live. There are so many beautiful places right here to appreciate. You may have been there a million times but you can still find something beautiful to appreciate. Like we often go to Bastendorff beach in the evenings. One day we went and explored the jetty and found a bunch of nudibranchs, and we’ve never seen them there before! There are always things to see and explore.
This internship has been an awesome experience. It has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of life in the marine science field. There is so much to learn and explore in the ocean that is applicable to science, engineering, health, education, etc. It’s also taught me that I should never disregard my dreams as impossible. Before this internship, I thought that being a marine biologist was an impossible dream for me. How could I be competitive for a marine opportunity when I go to school inland? But no dream is impossible. If you really want to work for something you can attain it. Craig’s graduate student Caitlin keeps telling me that sometimes you pursue something you want and it doesn’t work out so you go for plan B and then C and then somehow in plan C you end up with what you were trying to get in plan A. The key is to never give up, keep trying, and use some creativity to adjust plans when they don’t happen like you wanted.
I’m sad to be heading into our last week but it will definitely be a good one!
I’m still in love with Oregon and the Oregon Coast!
Research this week has been somewhat stressful. Our time is winding down and deadlines are fast approaching. In two weeks, we will be making a poster and presenting our projects. After a little bit of excessive stress our deadlines were pushed back a couple of days.
We finished photographing and measuring pyrosome gonads! After running a couple of statistical tests we found that there is no significant difference in gonad size in different sized pyrosomes or at different locations in the colony. Although this is not what we had expected it actually is a more friendly ecological result as you don’t have to worry about an exponential reproduction output as the colony grows.
We went out several times on the Pluteus to retrieve our traps. After a couple days of high waves, we made it out past the bar! So much was our relief to have passed the bar that none of us had even thought of the possibility that the traps may not be there. But sure enough, some troller boat must have hoisted the jolly roger because our traps were missing! No flags or markers in sight and no sonar detection below. Definitely a big disappointment but so goes the nature of research! Sometimes you do a lot of work to lose it at sea or to find that there is no significant difference in your results. It can be disappointing but at the same time good. In this case, we have decided to analyze the species diversity in the bay larval trap that we made as a tester.
I have to say that Craig is the best mentor! He is just a ray of sunshine. Every time we are discouraged or encounter a setback he steps in with a new idea to make things easier or to make things still work out. He always believes in us and wants us to have a positive experience. I feel privileged to get to work with him this summer!
This past weekend Nicole, Kaz, and I ventured to the county fair to see the cute animals and eat the delicious food! On Saturday all of the interns headed up to Newport to tour the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Newport Aquarium. The tour of the Hatfield Center was one of my favorite trips we’ve taken. I’ve come to really love seeing other marine centers and the research they are doing. The marine biology life is… kind of awesome.
I know I say this every week but it has been another amazing week here as an OIMB REU!
The pyrosomes continue to be a lot of work but we are starting to get some data. We’ve spent most of the week photographing the largest cut of gonad for 10 individuals (zooids) in each pyrosome slice. We got a tutorial on the program ImageJ so we can start calculating the area of the gonad slices. And then, soon comes the analyzing of all the data we’ve been collecting! We are also planning on picking up our larval traps in the next couple of days. Data collecting and analysis are in full swing!
The world is an amazing place and the Oregon coast is gorgeous! Christina, Elena, Nicole and I ventured down to Port Orford for an evening. There’s so many beautiful places to go!
This internship has been a fantastic experience. I’ve learned so much. This week I learned that it is really important to do things that you love. Every week we get to meet and have lunch with someone in the marine biology field. This week we had lunch with one of our professors, Aaron. He told us his career pathway, and I realized that sometimes you have to take risks to do what you enjoy, because then you can really invest. If you love what you do, you’ll give it all you’ve got.
Some of my favorite moments are when Craig or his graduate student Caitlin, come in and talk to me and Nicole. I love getting to know them and learn from them. Craig loves to tell us stories and teach us history lessons. This week he told us that our academic history traces back to Alexander von Humboldt, a famous biologist. It’s pretty cool when the people you learn about in school actually had a direct influence on the people you are learning from!
I feel so lucky to be here!
It's been another amazing week on the Oregon Coast!!!
This week’s research has been consumed with long hours on the microscope. Every pyrosome slice contains a dozen or more individual animals called zooids. Pyrosomes are colonial, meaning they look like a single animal but they are actually a colony of many individuals living, and sometimes working, together. Every zooid is a functioning individual with its own organs including our organ of interest: the gonad. Nicole and I have been searching between slices trying to identify which slice contains the largest cut of gonad for each zooid. Lots of searching and lovely time on the microscopes!
This week we were introduced to a scanning electron microscope. Such a cool instrument that works via vacuum and high voltage electrons to produce an amazing image. Science is so cool!
I have to go on a tangent. Science is super amazing but also difficult. In school you learn things that people have discovered and professors also attempt to teach you to think critically. But there is nothing like research. I've found I'm fully capable of doing the tasks assigned to gather data. However, the real job of asking questions, figuring out how to actually answer those questions with available tools, and analyzing the data you get to figure out if it answers what you were asking, that's the hard stuff. That's the stuff you can't learn in schools. That's the stuff that you can't just get lucky with but actually takes experience, practice, and coaching. I feel so blessed to be working with an amazing researcher this summer and getting to learn a little more about the intricacies of this process. There's so much to science that you don't understand until you are fully immersed. It's not only a language but a skill set, a way of thinking, and a way of seeing.
This week has been full of intern adventures. Foosball took a new turn when Zade decided to make face print outs of each of us to attach to the players. I'm now a proud midfielder. Kaz and I have taken many random beach adventures. And a big group of us found a little paradise at a lake in the sand dunes. This place is full of wonders and beauties that you never know exist until you take that next turn down a random road.
There's nothing like being an OIMB REU!!!
Have you ever wanted to discover something new or see something most people don’t see? Grab a microscope and welcome yourself to this past week of histology! We finished our slide preparations (a long process of various hours in chemicals, slicing tissues, drying, and staining slides) and finally got to look at the pyrosomes under a microscope! Their sperm are easily identifiable but the eggs are proving more difficult to identify. We also discovered that our brittle stars need some decalcifying before we can look at them. It is so miraculously fascinating to be able to see things that are so small!
Attempting to write a proposal on pyrosomes unearthed the only pyrosome literature from the 1800s and early 1900s. The last studied information on pyrosomes! What an exciting thing to be studying after the long break in research.
The intern life is fantastic! I’m loving the almost nightly beach trips to see the sunset, foosball foosball foosball, long runs, and occasional movies. A highlight this week was a trip to main campus in Eugene and a lap around the Hayward field! I got to let out a little bit of my inner running nerd.
A couple things I’ve learned this week
1) Don’t disregard old literature. Papers written long ago may be exactly what you need! (thank you Craig for teaching us this and showing us the perfect example: pyrosomes)
2) Working together makes everything easier and more enjoyable. Working on proposals during the beginning of the week took Nicole and I in different directions which wasn’t quite as enjoyable or productive.
3) Take every opportunity to enjoy the place that you live. We live right next to the beach. It is easy to think you can go tomorrow, but just go today!
4) Research is the most innovative way to learn. I’ve never been so excited to discover how to dissolve calcium carbonate or to figure out the anatomy of a pyrosome as when it’s driven by inquiry!
Being an OIMB REU intern is one of the best experiences I’ve had! I’m so grateful for this opportunity!
Hey y’all! Just wanted to start by giving a shout out to my lab coat/what I call my lab coat. This is my Dad’s high school jacket that serves me well in the chilly Oregon labs.
The climax of this week happened on Thursday at 1pm when we dropped our last two weeks of work (larval traps put into two moorings) into the open sea and hoped for the best! We have good reason to be optimistic as the flags and floats were still visible as we drove away (on a previous deployment during Spring term, research students watched the flag sink to the depths of the ocean because the line was too short). The traps are designed to catch larvae and the attached plexiglass plates provide a place for them to settle, if they so desire. We are going to compare what settles to what we find in the traps at four depths. Now that the traps are deployed, we wait!
However, ‘waiting’ involves wax, chemicals, fancy slicing machines, tissue stains, microscopes and other things that make up the complicated process of ‘histology’. Histology of pyrosome and brittle-stars gonads, amongst other activities, will be how Craig keeps us entertained for the next 3-4 weeks.
As interns, we’ve managed to become Summer long foosball competitors! Competition part one took place Wednesday evening. OIMB student Ian took home the gold medal without any serious competition. Hallway hammocking, dorm croquet, golfing, hours upon hours of card games, and 4th of July fireworks at downtown Coos Bay have also made good memories.
I’m so grateful for this experience! I love all the fun, the research, and the people. I couldn’t have been blessed with an opportunity better than this one!
Week 2 at oimb
Hey Everyone! The last two weeks here at the OIMB have been fantastic. I knew I was excited for this experience but I had no idea how awesome it would be and its only been two weeks!
So! What’s it like being an REU OIMB intern? As you can see, there are 11 of us. Although we work in different labs, we spend time together at meals (the cooks here are fantastic; I love the meals) and in the evening. In our spare time, we often find ourselves wandering to the beach to walk or explore tide pools, playing guitar, having foosball competitions, playing volleyball (which we aren’t very good at), going on runs (not everyone runs, but I do and so do several others), or just talking. We are becoming good friends and I personally think this is a fantastic group of people!
As far as research goes…. If you see Nicole and me at random moments of the day or the week you might catch us on a spontaneous boat trip to try and find a larval trap that is proving difficult to pick up (where I also earned the nickname of Chuck even in only 2-3 foot swells); in the shop drilling, sawing, gluing, or sanding PVC pipe to make more larval traps; in the histology lab prepping brittle stars for microscope examination through a long preparation process; meandering to the boat docks to take pictures of critters that are growing there, or to collect specimens from fishermen; or bothering Craig. What exactly does that long list of random activities account to you may ask. Well Nicole and I are primarily working on two projects. Our first project (which involves the boat trips and shop) is to figure out if larvae of invertebrates disperse in lower levels of the water column (do we find microscopic baby sea creatures in the water near the ocean floor?). For our second project we are looking at the gonads (reproductive organs) of ophiuroids (brittle stars) from hydrothermal vents more than 8000 ft. below the surface of the Atlantic ocean.
It’s been an exciting week! This next week we are hoping to drop a couple of our larval traps and finish preparing our first batch of ophiuroids for the microscope. Should be a great week!
Hi. I’m Kaitlyn Beard from Orem, Utah and am studying Biology at Brigham Young University. I love running, hiking, violin, guitar, good food, and life! I love marine biology but don’t have a huge opportunity to study it in Utah. I applied to this program to figure out if studying marine biology is something I want to do for a career. I’m heading into my senior year and am thinking about graduate school so hope this will be an enlightening experience. I’ve been paired with Nicole Wegrzyniak and we are really excited to be working with Craig Young! During the first week we examined larvae from the plankton, learned about the reproduction of bryozoans, and used underwater photography to look for ecological patterns on the Charleston docks. We are designing an experiment to measure larval recruitment and larval supply at different depths in the water column. We also plan to study the reproduction of a deep- sea brittle star from hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m really excited for this opportunity!