Grace: Carrying on a tradition of environmental stewardship

As a resident of New Haven, Connecticut, I am excited to have the opportunity to spend my summer working at Bodega Marine Lab on the California coast. I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors, and I was inspired by my grandparents’ dedication to conservation, to explore my own interest the environment. Next fall, I will be starting my senior year of high school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, where I am a part of an environmental action club, as well as the Science Research Program. A component of this program is an internship in a research laboratory over the summer. Having an internship in California at the Hill Lab has been an incredible way for me to explore my interests in the environment and marine science, as well as spend time with family in Petaluma for the summer.

 Grace sampling in seagrass beds, Bodega Harbor, CA. Photo credit: A. Ninokawa

Grace sampling in seagrass beds, Bodega Harbor, CA. Photo credit: A. Ninokawa

In the Hill Lab, I have not only been able to work on an independent project, but I have also been involving myself in a variety of projects going on in the lab. My primary project, under the mentorship of Brady O’Donnell, is comparing organisms in sediment samples from inside, on the edge, and outside of seagrass beds. I helped to collect sediment cores in Bodega Harbor and have been analyzing the content under a microscope. The results of this experiment will help demonstrate the impact of the structural presence of seagrass beds on larval settlement as well as the relationship between the carbon sequestration that occurs in seagrass beds and the distribution of organisms beneath the ground. I have also worked on other interesting projects happening at the lab from counting abalone larvae to helping to set up an eddy covariance system to measure the wind velocity and carbon dioxide fluxes at Tomales Bay.

I have already learned so much, and I am looking forward to making the most of the rest of my summer at the lab!

~Grace Kortum, August 2016

 Sampling tidepool chemistry at Bodega Marine Reserve. Photo credit: A. Ninokawa

Sampling tidepool chemistry at Bodega Marine Reserve. Photo credit: A. Ninokawa

“Having an internship in California at the Hill Lab has been an incredible way for me to explore my interests in the environment and marine science...”

 

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