The annual summer intern program at the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies is now under way. Twenty-two students from around the world arrived at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, on June 5, eager to begin 10 weeks of graduate-level study.
Funded primarily by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates, the summer internship program provides grants to host institutions to encourage undergraduate students to pursue graduate work in science and engineering. Students are provided stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. In 1987, the UD College of Marine Studies received its first summer internship grant from NSF and now has one of the longest-running programs in the nation.
The focus of the intern program is to give each student the opportunity to design and complete an original research project under the guidance of faculty mentors. Throughout the summer, students attend seminars, workshops, and field trips on various topics in marine science. The students also discover what it’s like to conduct research at sea during a day-long science cruise aboard Captain Thomas White, a 26-foot research vessel in the UD fleet.
“As always, our program attracts highly motivated students from undergraduate institutions across the country and the world,” says Ana Dittel, a research scientist in marine biology–biochemistry and director of the summer intern program. “This year we have a diverse group from as far away as Guam, to as nearby as our own backyard — Rehoboth.”
Dittel notes that, as in past years, the interns will work on a diversity of projects, from large marine organisms such as fish and blue crabs, to microscopic algae and bacteria, to past climate conditions.
The following students are participating in the program with support from NSF: Thomas Bauska, from the University of Chicago in Illinois; Steven Gogela, from St. Louis University in Missouri; Jennifer Griffith, from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland; Stephanie Guida, from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; Matthew Jennis, from Penn State University in University Park; Isumechraard Ngirairiki, from the University of Guam; Anne Portilla, from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota; Veronica Searles, from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Audra Taylor, from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio; and Maria Wilburn, from the University of Delaware.
These students also will be participating in the intern program with funding from other sources: Leonardo Carbrera, from Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown; Katie Christopher, Heather Galada, Andrew Madison, Garrett Peters, and Avery Tolosa, from the University of Delaware; Kevin Hagashikubo, from the University of Washington in St. Louis, Missouri; Marcela Kokes from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon; and Dominique Smith, from Lincoln University in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.
The intern program concludes August 11 with the students giving an oral presentation of their research findings and delivering their results in a written scientific report.