The intern class of 2011. Photo by Lisa Tossey
They’ve come to the University of Delaware to get 10 weeks of graduate-level study, and with research project titles like “Radionuclide Indicators of Sediment Dynamics in the Delaware Estuary,” you can be sure 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 6 through August 12 at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. It’s 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 spawning sites, sediment dynamics, and marine bacteria. 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 hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean to remote sensing using satellites and other technologies. Field trips include participation in a horseshoe crab census and a marsh walk.
Ana Dittel, research scientist in marine biosciences and coordinator of the REU program, said that internships are valuable 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.
“The opportunity to conduct and present results of research contributes to professional development of students in their future careers,” Dittel said.
The following students are participating in the program and are pictured above: Front row (L to R) Tad Lehman (Delaware Technical and Community College); Carmen Marie Lado (The Catholic University of America); Tessa Montini (University of Delaware); Stephanie Shinas (University of Delaware); Middle row (L to R) Jolie Wax (Lincoln University); Michael Fong (University of California, Berkeley); Shannon Brown (University of Maine); Aurora Burgess (University of New Hampshire); Michael Mangiante (Villanova University); Madeline Foster (Cooper Union University); Adaline King (University of New Hampshire); Back row (L to R) Joshua Humberston (University of Delaware); Christopher Mitchell (University of Delaware); Isata Panda (Lincoln University); Sarah Woehlke (Cardinal Stritch University); Shannon Owings (University of Delaware); Clay Thibodeaux (Brown University); and Josh Vickers (Delaware Technical and Community College).