CMES interns begin unique summer experience

12:42 p.m., July 6, 2007--For many college students, summer means time at the coast. The twenty students spending their summer at the University of Delaware's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, however, will be doing much more than sitting on the beach. As interns with the UD College of Marine and Earth Studies, they will perform cutting-edge research.

Internships are funded primarily by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, which encourages undergraduate students to pursue independent research in science and engineering. The UD College of Marine and Earth Studies received its first summer internship grant in 1987 and now has one of the longest-running programs in the nation.

Each intern designs and completes an original research project under the guidance of faculty mentors. Throughout the summer, interns attend seminars, workshops, and field trips on various topics in marine and earth science. The students also discover what it's like to conduct research at sea.

“Our program attracts highly motivated students from undergraduate institutions across the country and the world,” Ana Dittel, a research scientist in marine biosciences and director of the summer intern program, said. “This year we have interns who will work on projects involving many different topics, including fish, microbes, and salt-tolerant plants.”

The following students are participating in the program with support from NSF: Jennifer Frach, University of Maine (Machias); Jared Halonen, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); Leanne Hazzard, Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Pa.); Geoffrey House, Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.); Emily Jayne, Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.); Hanna Koch, Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Kathleen McCole, University of Delaware; Gabrielle Munn, College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.); Chad Shelly, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Pa.); Kara Winslow, College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.); and Matt Yergey, Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, Pa.).

These students also will be participating in the intern program with funding from other sources: Marc Buckley, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (Paris, France); Sonja Fritz, Hochschule Esslingen (Esslingen, Germany); Gail Huckins, Joanna Huxter, Nate Maier, and Livia Montone, University of Delaware; Candice Johnson, Lincoln University (Pa.); Lauren Salvitti, Goucher College (Baltimore, Md.); and Carlowen Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The program concludes August 10 with the interns giving oral presentations summarizing their research findings and delivering their results in written scientific reports.

Article by Ron Ohrel