Catching Up with Arctic Science

Catching Up with Arctic Science

Three alumni of the MBL’s Semester in Environmental Science (SES) Program took part in the annual Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) meeting at the MBL in late February, joining 61 other researchers from around the country.

These ecologists typically see one another during the busy, short season for field research at Toolik Field Station in arctic Alaska. So they enjoyed the relatively mild weather – and ocean views – in Woods Hole!

Above, at right, Abby Rec of Gettysburg College (SES 2018) presented a poster on the research she conducted at Toolik Lake as a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates intern in summer 2019.  Rec will be starting a Ph.D. program at the University of Vermont next year under the guidance of Prof. Breck Bowden, who leads the “streams group” at the Arctic LTER.

At left is Sarah Messenger (SES 2016), who is, currently a research assistant at the MBL Ecosystems Center. She is responsible for data collection and analysis for the “lakes group” at the Arctic LTER.

Sarah’s senior thesis at Trinity College (2018) was based on research she initiated as an SES student and, later, as an intern at the Ecosystems Center. She studied the microbes associated with a permeable reactive barrier designed to reduce nutrient pollution at Waquoit Bay, Falmouth.  After graduating from Trinity College, Sarah worked as a teaching assistant in the SES program for a semester.  She has also collaborated with scientists at the Ecosystems Center and University of Virginia to calculate the nitrogen footprint of the MBL.

From left: MBL Senior Scientist Ed Rastetter, lead principal investigator of the Arctic LTER; Ruby An (SES 2015, University of Chicago 2017); and Anne Giblin, director of the MBL Ecosystems Center.  After her SES experience, An worked at Toolik Lake as a research field and lab assistant during the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019. “SES was a great experience for me. It opened a lot of doors,” An says.

Above, Ruby An collects samples near Toolik Field Station, Alaska, as part of a landscape-level helicopter survey of the vegetation available for caribou.  Photo by Kaj Lynoe


One Response

  1. Excellent article about what SES is doing in the “field” for/with young scientists – thank you !

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