We made it! This is the final week at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology for the REU interns. The summer has provided so many opportunities to each of us, in the form of gained skills and knowledge, new connections, and research credentials. I am incredibly grateful to have participated in this experience, and will certainly miss my fellow interns, my mentor, and the rest of my lab.
This week we presented our research in two settings. The first was a poster session, where we presented our research to the scientific community of Charleston, including the faculty and students of OIMB, members of the Charleston Marine Life Center (CMLC), and staff from the local ODFW station. Our posters were a way to graphically represent our projects, and to summarize our research. It was refreshing to have experts in marine science look over our research, and to ask questions and force us to critically think about the implications of that information. It was a good way to start a conversation about what our research really means. Several of us may also present our posters at scientific conferences in the near future. The second presentation was at the CMLC, where we conveyed our projects to visitors of the center, which was actually really fun. I brought several crabs with me and let visitors (mostly excited kids) help feed the crabs, while I told them about how crabs settle from larvae, the competition they experience, and their growth. It was busy, but fairly relaxed, and people were excited to learn about crabs.
Primarily, we (the interns) tried to spend as much time together as possible. This included several surfing sessions, and for many of us, it was our first time surfing. It’s something that I’ve meant to do my whole life, but have never had the opportunity to do before now. Jacob was willing to help us learn, and we were able to catch a few good waves and stand a couple of times. Spending time at the beach every day was a great way to end the summer here at the coast; we spend countless hours laying in the sand and soaking up the sun.
As excited as I am to go home, it is very hard to leave all of these fantastic people. It has been an amazing summer, and we’ve all become very good friends. I really admire and respect everyone I’ve come to know this summer. We plan to keep in contact, but life gets busy, and we’ll all be far away from each other. I’m sure everyone will go far in their careers, and I’m excited to see where life takes them.
I want to thank the National Science Foundation for making this experience possible, and especially to thank Aaron, Richard, Maya, MacKenna, and all of the other faculty involved in selecting us and providing such a fantastic program to do real science and research.
It’s been a pleasure, and as always, thanks for reading!
Hey, readers! My name is Zade Clark-Henry. I'm from Salem, Oregon, and I'm an undergraduate student majoring in Natural Resources at Oregon State University, with an emphasis ecological studies, specifically forest ecosystems and ecological restoration. I'm interested in all types of science, but especially life sciences, and within that I'm most interested in ecological interactions between organisms. My non-academic interests include playing music, hiking, camping, exploring, kayaking, reading, and drinking tasty espresso.