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Summer 2012 AFSC Internships

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2012 interns
Summer 2012 interns and Susanne McDermott (intern activities coordinator) on a field trip to Shannon Point Marine Center.  Photo by Brian Bingham.

The month of September wrapped up another successful Summer Internship Program at the AFSC. This year we had a group of wonderful students who came to the AFSC for 10 weeks to learn new skills and gain work experience in a professional setting.

In addition to working on their projects with their mentors, the interns experienced field trips to Bodega Bay and the Shannon Point Marine Science Center in Anacortes, the marine lab of Western Washington University. The trip included an excursion on their small research vessel where interns had hands-on experience with a remote controlled underwater vehicle (ROV) and sampled local invertebrates and fish with a beam trawl.

This invaluable experience has been provided for the third year running by Professor Brian Bingham, who also heads up the yearly MIMSUP (Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences: Undergraduate Participation) event during which his students present their research at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

The AFSC 2012 summer interns also attended weekly lunch presentations given by different research groups at the Center. AFSC scientists with the Age and Growth Program, the Marine Mammal Laboratory, the Genetics Laboratory, as well as staff with National Ocean Services presented their research to the interns in an interactive and fun way.

At the end of their interships, the interns presented their work in a small symposium attended by AFSC scientists in Seattle. Interns, mentors, and projects represented the diverse research conducted at our Center. Two interns were located in Juneau and presented their research results as posters during the STAR (STEM Teacher and Research) conference in San Jose, California, on 11 August 2012. This marks the first year that AFSC has participated in the STAR program, which is a 9-week summer research internship for aspiring science and mathematics teachers.

  2012 interns
A research catch collected during the Shannon Point field trip is dumped into buckets for sampling by the AFSC interns.  Photo by Susanne McDermott.

The AFSC interns and their projects were:

  • Dustin Taylor (ABL, Juneau):  Rhinoceros Auklet Prey Composition and Quality
  • Brielle Kemis (ABL, Juneau):  Effects of Pristane on Growth of Juvenile Pink Salmon
  • Christina Gellar (Mentor: Amber Himes, socio-economic group, REFM):  Developing Indicators to Assess Vulnerability and Resilience of Alaskan Communities to Climate Change
  • Jennifer Gardner (Mentors: Ingrid Spies, REFM and Jay Orr, RACE):  Solving the Mystery of Snailfish Eggs with Genetics
  • Nate Ryan (Mentor: Anne Hollowed, REFM):  Towards an Understanding of Community: Piecing together Biotic Interactions from Fish Distribution Data
  • Katherine Beame (Mentors: Matt Baker and Libby Logerwell, REFM):  Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Benthic Communities in the Eastern Bering Sea
  • Zachary Mankoff (Mentors: Mike Canino and Melanie Paquin, RACE):  Barcoding by Species: Building a Genetic Database of Sculpins and other Fish
  • Jonas Oppenheimer (Mentor: Charles Fowler, NMML):  Pattern-based Control Rules: Resource Population Levels
  • Alexandra Ulmke (Mentor: Phillip Clapham):  Increase in Shipping and Impacts on Marine Mammals Relating to Diminishing Sea Ice in the Arctic
  • Sean Kinard (Mentors: Tom Helser, Craig Kastelle and Beth Matta):  Age Validation of Walleye Pollock with Bomb-produced Radiocarbon and Growth Analysis of Yellowfin Sole and Pacific Ocean Perch

By Susanne McDermott

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