CHICAGO & NYC
My M.S. thesis had me seasonally flying back and forth between the Hoellein lab at Loyola in Chicago to our field site in New York City in addition to a collaborator's lab at in Corpus Christi.
My research was part of a larger collaborative interdisciplinary effort to measure the biotic and abiotic effects of eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef restoration to the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and focused on the effect of reefs on nitrogen cycling in the eutrophic urbanized waterways. This thesis is complete and the manuscript is currently being edited for publication.
Worked with US Fish and Wildlife Service at Warm Springs Fish Technology Center. Helped with cryopreservation and conservation genetics lab tasks as well as feeding and daily maintenance for the research animals such as Striped Bass, American Alligators, Axolotl Salamanders, and endangered Purple Bankclimber mussels. Assisted hatchery managers with egg collection and new testing methods for Alligator Gar. Helped sample local bullfrog populations for presence of Chytrid fungus. Also worked on developing new scientific methods that incorporate the latest technology to make research faster, more accurate, and more accessible to non-scientists.
Was accepted by the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Worked with Dr. Mike Rubbo at Teatown Lake Reservation and Dr. John Wehr at Fordham University in New York to conduct a study on bacterial response to varying dissolved organic carbon sources in forested vernal pools. Learned to propose and carry out an original scientific experiment, and to later present that information in a formal setting. Trained in the use of epifluorescent microscopy to stain and count bacteria.
Funding made possible through the National Science Foundation, Teatown Lake Reservation, and the Louis Calder Biological Research Center at Fordham University.
Worked with the Fisheries Division of the Arizona Game and Fish Department on native trout conservation projects, specifically the restoration of Apache Trout and Gila Trout populations. Conducted basin-wide visual estimates of stream habitat to to identify potential sites for future stockings of endangered Apache trout. Used backpack electroshockers to remove competing sport fish species from designated Apache trout areas. Stocked hatchery raised fish in public fishing areas. Assisted researchers in fish health lab to grow cell cultures and inspect hatchery samples for Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD). Also assisted the Wildlife Division with various projects including elk surveys, roadside poaching check stations, and maintaining wolf barriers around public livestock grazing areas.
Funding made possible through Americorps, the Student Conservation Association, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Antarctica and Argentina
Was accepted to Studies in Antarctic System Science study abroad program at Michigan State University. Studied marine and terrestrial biology, oceanography, glaciology, and geology on the Antarctic Peninsula. Conducted behavioral studies of Gentoo penguin rookeries. Researched importance of Antarctic Krill (E. superba) to the Southern Ocean ecosystem and the possibilities a krill fishery could provide.
Travelled across the Beagle Channel and Drake Passage. Visited Aitcho Island, Whaler's Bay on Deception Island, Cuverville Island, Neko Harbor (where we went sledding down a 400 foot glacier), the Lemaire Channel, Vernadsky Research Base (a Ukrainian research station) on Galindez Island, the Yalour Islands in the Wilhelm Archipelago, and the González Videla Antarctic Base (a Chilean research station) in Paradise Bay on MV Lyubov Orlova, Quark Expeditions. Also visited the Andes Mountains, Martial Glacier, Tierra del Fuego National Park, and Ushuaia, Argentina.
Worked aboard MV The Spirit of '98, Cruise West as a Guest Service Representative during the summer of 2005. Learned about southeast Alaskan ecosystems, glaciology, marine and terrestrial biology, history of Alaska, and the native Tlingit culture while serving meals aboard ship.
During my shore leave I took the opportunity to head north to explore the city of Anchorage. I also backpacked for several days from through Johnson Pass, near Moose Pass, AK, with some friends I met in Alaska.