Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bermuda Program Interns Part 3

Welcome back to our blog!  We would like to introduce 4 more Bermuda Program interns who attended BIOS this summer!

The Bermuda Program offers a unique opportunity for Bermudian students, ages 18 and older, to broaden their knowledge of marine and atmospheric sciences and learn about the daily operations of an active research station.  Since 1976 more than 130 young Bermudians have taken part in this exciting program, with many applying their summer experiences toward further university studies.  Beyond that, some Bermuda Program graduates have successfully translated their summer internships into employment opportunities at BIOS and other related organizations in Bermuda.  See more at: http://www.bios.edu/education/bermuda-program

Andreas Ratteray
Andreas is a rising junior at Stanford University majoring in Earth Systems and minoring in Middle Eastern Languages, Literature, and Culture.  This summer he is working with Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley (http://www.bios.edu/about/team-members/gretchen-goodbody-gringley/) in Lionfish research.  Andreas has been coming to BIOS since age 11 when he participated in the Waterstart program.

1. How would you describe the project you have worked on at BIOS?
I’m surveying the density of prey for Lionfish to help Gretchen figure out what is going on with the Lionfish.  Another intern is looking at the Lionfish density, and I am looking at the density of the fish that the Lionfish eat.  We are varying the depth of the field research sites to see what patterns appear when you dive on a shallow rim reef to a reef crest and then to a deep fore, a range of depth of 30 ft to 100 ft. 

2. Why did you decide on this internship?
I wanted to apply what I was doing in university and learn more about the environmental issues unique to Bermuda.  I’ve always wanted to work at BIOS because it is a privilege to find a world-class institute right here in my backyard in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. 

3. Has your time thus far at BIOS changed your thoughts on what you might want to do in the future?
It is encouraging to see people for whom science is a career.  BIOS has shown me that you don’t have to be a professor in order to contribute to the wealth of scientific knowledge.

Rachel Barnes         
Rachel is a recent graduate of Bowdoin College where she double majored in Earth and Oceanographic Science and Economics.  For the past 2 summers she has worked with BIOS researcher Natasha McDonald to analyze Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) oceanographic data.  Read more about BATS here http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/bats/

1. How would you describe the project you have worked on at BIOS?
I’ve spent the last few weeks learning how to do multivariate data analysis, data mining, and time series analysis in a statistical software program called R.  I’ve mostly been analyzing large data sets (from BATS mostly) in an effort to understand trends in chromophoric (light-absorbing) dissolved organic matter (cDOM), nutrients, and various other water qualities over time and space. The overarching goal is to model large-scale datasets and to be able to interpret ocean processes.

2. Why did you decide on a Bermuda Program internship?
I really enjoyed working with Natasha for the past 2 summers in the Bermuda Program.  I also learned how to use R last summer at BIOS and have used the program more this year in a few different classes at my university.  I wanted to come back to BIOS to continue using the statistical software this summer.

Shane Antonition
Shane is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Plymouth University in the UK.  This summer Shane is working with Dr. Mark Guishard to test the efficacy of shark oil weather barometers.  Read more about Dr. Guishard’s risk prediction work with RPI 2.0 here www.bios.edu/research/projects/rpi/  

1. How would you describe the project you have worked on at BIOS?
My project this summer at BIOS is to investigate the accuracy of shark oil barometers in predicting weather conditions. This is then compared to our modern metrological forecasting tools. In order to achieve this, I have set up a camera with two shark oil barometers, which take photographs every ten minutes. Then in comparing the behaviors of the oil to observed weather conditions, we hope we can determine both what causes the behavior of the changing shark oil, as well as how the oil reacts to the changing weather.

2. What did you hope to gain or learn from your internship, and did you achieve this?
I hoped to gain experience in running an experiment and further my skills in conducting a research project. While I've had to troubleshoot experimental issues, I've learned a lot that will help me in future projects and in the rest of my university degree.

Leandra Stracquadanio
Leandra is a Zoology major at University College Dublin.  This summer she is working with Natasha McDonald in the Bermuda Bio-Optics Project’s lab.   Learn more about the project here http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/bbop/

1. How would you describe the project you have worked on at BIOS?
My project is interested in all of the pigments that are produced by plankton in the sea, but in particular, chlorophyll. I’m comparing levels of chlorophyll from the open ocean to inshore samples and analyzing them, including the different conditions, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.

2. What did you hope to gain or learn from your internship, and did you achieve this?
When I was first told about this project I was informed it would be mostly chemistry based, which being a Zoology major, it was an area in which I did not have much experience.  Therefore, right from the beginning, I hoped to strengthen my chemistry skills. I also wanted to learn about data analysis because that’s such a large part of any science career. I feel like I’ve really learned a lot in both those fields while working on research in the real scientific world.

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