NOAA-EPP Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) IMET Summer Internship Program
Each summer, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology at the Inner Harbor offers students the opportunity to conduct research in marine sciences applying molecular tools.
The summer internship will provide orientation to working in a lab, seminars on the use of molecular techniques in fisheries and environmental research, a one-day workshop on communicating science, and a research project with an LMRCSC-associated faculty mentor.
The program consists of a 9-week research project mentored by an UMCES-LMRCSC associated faculty mentor, along with orientation to working in a lab, seminars on the use of molecular techniques in fisheries and environmental research, and a one-day workshop on communicating science.
Guest Post- Battling the Oyster Herpesvirus in California
by Shanai Brown
July 14, 2015
Colleen Burge, Shanai Brown, and Natalie Rivlin emerge from the mud flats of Tomales Bay, California after an adventure where they netted 60 native little neck clams (Protothaca staminea),16 macoma clams (Macoma nustuta), and 5 razor clams (Solen rosaceus). Photo credit: Blythe Marshman
“Yes, oysters can be infected die from a herpesvirus, known as the Ostreid herpesvirus, which infects oysters and not humans” --Colleen Burge
Dr. Colleen Burge is known for her research on the Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas), in particular infections with the Ostreid herpesvirus I, or OsHV-1. OsHV-1 causes mass mortalities in spat and juvenile Pacific oysters globally (though only detected to date in Tomales and nearby Drakes Bays in the US, to date), and has become particular problematic in the past several years. One interesting caveat about OsHV-1 is its ability to infect multiple species of bivalves. Ms. Shanai Brown, a student from Morgan State University has joined Dr. Burge and her lab through the Living Marine Resource Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) to explore the possibility of native bivalves being infected with OsHV-1. Though the virus has been detected in other commercial species (primarily non-native species) in the bay, only one species of native bivalves has ever been tested. Dr. Burge has been long interested in whether native bivalves may be infected by OsHV-1, and chose this specific project for Ms. Brown as part of her LMRCSC internship. In order to achieve this goal, Ms. Brown is accompanying Dr. Burge on a field expedition to Bodega Marine Laboratory (UC Davis) in Bodega Bay, California. During the month of July, Ms. Brown is assisting Dr. Burge in collecting different species of bivalves and use molecular biology techniques, in particular OsHV-specific quantitative PCR to screen these animals for the virus. If any of the native animals have specific-products for OsHV-1, the next step is to sequence the DNA to confirm identity.
Ms. Brown has also been assisting Dr. Burge with a project aimed at developing molecular biomarkers for OsHV-1 resistance in Pacific oysters, a California Sea Grant Project (with Carolyn Friedman at the University of Washington and Dennis Hedgecock at University of Southern California), and an industry partner, the Hog Island Oyster Company. Currently Ms. Brown has the honor of raising two families of oysters in the BML hatchery. Ms. Brown provides algae to the system and performs water changes everyday to ensure a healthy growing environment. Soon these oysters will be large enough to plant out in the field, and will be planted alongside commercial available C. gigas and other species.
Ms. Brown experiences clam digging in muddy Tomales Bay. Photo credit: Blythe Marshman
“I am very excited to be here in Bodega Bay, California with Dr. Burge. She is a brilliant scientist and I hope to learn as much as I can from her. This project has enhanced my critical thinking skills and has opened a new door for me in the field of research. I can not wait to get results from all the hard work we have put in.” –Shanai Brown
July 10, 2015
IMET Associate Director and MEES Professor Kevin Sowers presented his research and pilot study on PCB remediation. Using anaerobic bacteria that are sprayed onto pellets of sand and clay, Dr. Sowers and his research team then spray the product into a the PCB-ridden site. They're having tremendous success at their pilot site, and are now researching how to use this system in other locations. Interns' questions included how this technology could be used at Superfun sites, where they found the anaeorobic organisms (Baltimore Harbor and South Carolina!), and the dangers of dredging PCBs.
Dr. Sowers' research is a prime example of the work being conducted at IMET. He and his lab have taken their 20+ years of research and directly applied it to a current problem. His research is enacting direct change on the environment and works directly with private industry.
Happy 4th of July!
July 3, 2015
Summer interns, mentors and staff enjoyed a well-deserved day off on Friday, July 3rd to observe Independance Day. Everyone looks forward to a productive week of research after a long weekend of relaxation!
LMRCSC Science Meeting and Professional Communications
June 25 and 26, 2015
The LMRCSC held its 2015 Science Meeting at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. Attendees included researchers from partner institutions University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Hampton University, Delaware State University, Savannah State University, University of Miami, Oregon State University and a number of NOAA EPP representatives. The researchers presented their work and discussed their continuing collaborative projects, while the summer interns had the unique opportunity to observe what happens on the other side of laboratory research. This unique meeting brings together University researchers, NOAA-EPP personnel and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Scientists. Some of these NOAA representatives even include LMRCSC Alumni!
Summer interns met with IMET Assistant Director Nick Hammond to discuss professional communications. Their session ranged from social media presence to communications with faculty to negotiation tips. As the advisor for the Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneurs Fellowship Program, Nick is well versed in mentorship and is a valuable resource for our summer interns.
The Do's and Don'ts of Field Sampling
June 12, 2015
Internships are in full swing! Now that all necessary laboratory safety trainings are complete, the interns discussed their research topics with Dr. Jagus, their fellow interns, and LMRCSC graduate students. LMRCSC Graduate Student Ammar Hanif told the group about his early experiences with field sampling on the Chesapeake Bay. Although he was hesitant at first, he learned to enjoy his time in the field. His advice? Do invest in the right gear, and don't be afraid to get a little dirty!
Additionally, there were not one, not two, but three birthdays this week! Happy birthday to Minyan, Jenn and LaTaijah!
Introductions and the Importance of Fundamentals
June 5, 2015
Every Friday, LMRCSC Advisor and UMCES Associate Professor Dr. Rosemary Jagus meets with the summer interns over lunch to discuss their research. These lunches include a short presentation from graduate students and other mentors. Today, the interns wrapped up their first week of the program with a short information session from the on-site IT staff and an introduction to IMET Director Russell Hill. In his talk, Dr. Hill emphasized the importance of the LMRCSC and student research, citing how the LMRCSC opened doors for recent graduate Jeanette Davis and current graduate student Jan Vicente. LMRCSC-IMET alumni have gone on to work at federal agencies, medical school, and have earned fellowships to help support their education. Dr. Hill encouraged the students by noting that the fundamental science completed by students opens doors for new technology. Projects funded by the LMRCSC allow researchers to advise students on research topics that they may not have the opportunity to work on otherwise.
Welcome, Summer Interns!
June 1, 2015
The 2015 Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center’s summer interns started their 9 week program on Monday, June 1, 2015. The 14 students come from Morgan State University, University of Delaware, Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Coastal Carolina University. They look forward to an exciting summer of studying essential fish habitats, aquaculture management and developing their laboratory research skills.
LMRCSC students use IMET's BioAnalytical Services Lab (BAS Lab) for their Molecular Biology research. BAS Lab has several instruments that are available for student use. They use FluorChem E and Typhoon for scanning gels, the 7500 Real Time PCR machine for gene expression studies and for quantitative PCR, and BAS Lab's other instrumentation, such as the Flow Cytometer, the 2100 Bionanalyzer the Covaris Ultrasonicator and the Blue Pippin, to gain experience using lab equipment. Each week, they will meet IMET researchers, graduate students and guests on topics such as graduate school admissions, networking and science communications.
Please stay tuned for our weekly updates!
Who is eligible?
Undergraduates with US citizenship studying marine science, fisheries, or biological sciences with an interest in marine science/fisheries, having a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Preference will be given to students from the LMRCSC partner institutions, Delaware State University, Hampton University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Savannah State University, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami and Oregon State University.
Students from underrepresented groups and institutions with limited research opportunities are especially encouraged to apply.
What benefits will you receive?
In addition to a summer immersed in research, students receive a stipend of $4,000, housing accommodations if needed, as well as professional preparation and career advice. In addition, students are eligible for 4 credits by arrangement with their home institution.
The LMRCSC-IMET Summer Internship Program is supported by funding from NOAA-EPP through the Cooperative Science Center Program.
The application process for Summer 2015 is now closed. Please check back here to apply next year.
LMRCSC Projects at IMET: Summer 2015
Details of LMRCSC opportunities at IMET can be found at http://www.umces.edu/imet/lmrcsc.
- Dr. Jim Du: Genetic and environmental regulation of fish muscle growth
- Dr. Sook Chung: Reproductive endocrinology in the red deepsea crab, Chaceon quinquedens
- Dr. Sook Chung: Understanding neuroendocrine regulation of the gut microbiome in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus
- Dr. Allen Place: Diet and feeding of menhaden using barcoding identification of gut contents
- Dr. Eric Schott: Searching the coastal bay food web for reservoirs of a virus lethal to blue crab Callinectes sapidus
- Dr. Colleen Burge: Determining the genetic and molecular bases of oyster resistance to an oyster-killing virus, Ostreid herpesvirus 1
Essential Fish Habitat
- Dr. Feng Chen: Adaptation of cyanobacteria to estuarine environments
- Dr. Russell Hill: Factors affecting the growth of marine microalgae, including the role of bacterial symbionts
- Dr. Russell Hill: The role of bacterial signaling in sponge colonization by symbiotic bacteria
- Dr. Rose Jagus/Dr. Allen Place: Protein synthesis and translational initiation factors in the dinoflagellate, Amphidinium carterae
- Dr. Tsetso Bachvaroff: Impacts of the parasite Amoebophrya on ichthyotoxic dinoflagellates in the Chesapeake Bay
Environmentally responsible aquaculture
- Dr. Rose Jagus: Use of zebrafish liver cells (ZFL) to study taurine metabolism
- Dr. Yantao Li: Sustainable production of carotenoids from green microalgae as feed additives for fish
- Dr. Ten-Tsao Wong: Developing a technology to induce fish sterility by disrupting primordial germ cell development in zebrafish and/or rainbow trout
- Dr. Nilli Zmora/Dr. Yonathan Zohar: Studies toward understanding the hormonal control of reproduction in a vertebrate model- the striped bass