They’ve come to the University of Delaware to get 10 weeks of graduate-level study, and with research project titles like “Quantitative PCR Approach for Measuring Bacterial Growth,” you can bet the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s (CEOE's) undergraduate summer interns are getting what they sought.
The annual CEOE summer internship program runs June 7 to August 13 at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. It is designed to provide undergraduates from around the country the experience of working one-on-one with faculty and research staff on individual research projects in chemical, physical, and biological oceanography; marine biology; marine geology; and marine biochemistry.
A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program funds many of the internships, which are awarded to students in science, engineering, and mathematics. In 1987, the college received its first summer internship grant and now has one of the longest-running programs in the nation.
Other funding sources for the internships include the Delaware Space Grant Program and Sustainable Coastal Communities.
This summer, intern projects focus on topics such as horseshoe crab nesting grounds, marine debris, and harmful algal blooms and climate change. The students also attend weekly workshops and seminars presented by CEOE faculty, staff, and students and obtain lab and field experience. Seminar topics range from the impacts of climate change on microalgae to communicating results from scientific research. Field trips include a visit to the Cape Henlopen dunes and a marsh walk.
Ana Dittel, research scientist in marine biosciences and coordinator of the REU program, said that internships are a valuable experience for undergraduates because they provide hands-on experience in the field and in the laboratory. In addition, internships help to enhance interns' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. She also said that the opportunity to conduct and present results of research contributes to professional development of students in their future careers.
“It is very rewarding to work with highly motivated students from undergraduate institutions across the country and internationally,” Dittel said.
The following students are participating in the program and are pictured above (back row L to R): Brittany Schieler, University of Delaware; Shannon Owings, University of Delaware; Jared Stoffel, University of Dayton; Seth Harris, South Dakota State University; Patrick McLaughlin, Villanova University; Michal Williams, Lincoln University; Alden Nelson, Delaware Technical and Community College; Florian Bernard, Bordeaux Graduate School of Engineering; (Middle row L to R) Jolie Wax, Lincoln University; Kevin Crum, University of Delaware; Claire Parker, Bates College; Jennifer Everhart, Franklin & Marshall College; Kate Foco, North Carolina State University; Lauren Wiesebron, Johns Hopkins University; Shayna Sura, University of Notre Dame; Jai Bansal, University of Miami; (Front row L to R) David Marsan, University of Delaware; Kathryn Gaasch, Virginia Tech University; Michael Katz, University of Delaware; (Not pictured) Laura Betts, University of Delaware; Gerardo Gonzalez-Quintero, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez; and Christopher Mitchell, Delaware Technical and Community College.
For more about CEOE, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu.