Our Sea S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching and Researching) internships are offered to rising high school seniors and gives them hands on experience in marine science every summer. We accept up to eight students and give them opportunities to work in the field on a research project of their choice and chances to lead and educate others with our adult and family programs. Check out what our seven Sea S.T.A.R. interns are up to for their two months at the field station as they study environmental science and share their knowledge with others.
Gabrielle: Due to Gabrielle’s success in her environmental science courses at Indian Creek High School in Gambrills, MD, one of her teachers who worked at CBFS recommended she apply for the Sea S.T.A.R. internship. This is her second time visiting the field station and she looks forward to experiencing more hands-on education while researching how salinity affects the sex of the blue crabs.
“I like my environmental science classes. I find it interesting and I like learning about what we can to try and stop what we started or at least slow it down,” Gabrielle said, talking about how she particularly enjoys learning about human impact on the environment and how we can live more sustainably.
Heaven: As a junior summer camp counselor at Maryland’s Howard County Conservancy, learning about the environment and spending time outside during summer vacation is expected for Heaven. In her role of a junior camp counselor, Heaven helps teach children ages 3 to 13 about environmental topics like insects, marine life and water quality. Once Heaven graduates high school, she hopes to pursue a career in animal science and her dream job is to be a veterinarian pathologist.
For her research project, Heaven will study starlings, an invasive species of birds.
“I settled on studying them and their behavior … They’re from Europe and they were brought over because Shakespeare lovers wanted all the birds from his plays here,” she explained.
Mikaela: Mikaela visited the field station last year on a field trip with Montgomery Blair High School, in Silver Spring, MD, and learned all about the intertidal zone, sand dune ecology and sustainable marshes. However, as soon as she left, she was excited to come back.
“I looked to see if they had an internship here because I really wanted to come back,” Mikaela said.
Mikaela enjoys her biology and environmental science classes and is considering pursuing a career in life sciences post-graduation. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge with others about environmental science and ecosystems through the Sea S.T.A.R. internship. For her research project, she partnered up with Emma to study the mortality of horseshoe crabs on Wallops Island.
Melody: Future marine biologist Melody, from Wilmington, DE and student at St. Mark’s High School, returned to the field station to kick start her goal of becoming a scientist.
“I’ve always been drawn to water and everything that lives in it,” she said, adding she completed an AP environmental science course last year.
For her research project, Melody will investigate the different colors of coquina clam shells.
“I collect water quality data and I collect a bunch of shells and record their color and then I’m going to try and find a correlation between that,” Melody said. She added that if she cannot find a correlation within her data, she’ll see if local predators play a role in their color.
Cameron: Visiting the field station from Barstow, CA, Cameron aspires to be a park or a forest ranger in his future.
“I do a lot of community cleanups and I’d like to work in sustainability or environmental preservation,” Cameron said. He added his passion to lessen human impact on nature drives him forward in his environmental activism and future after high school. For his research project, Cameron is looking at different ways to kill phragmites, an invasive species in local marshes, so spartina alterniflora can grow. Cameron added he also enjoys acting as a mentor to the field station’s summer camp kids.
“I like working with the kids and helping them learn about different organisms in the ocean,” he said.
Emma: As an aspiring animal scientist, Emma was drawn to the Sea S.T.A.R. internship to fulfill her advanced program requirements as a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD. Emma wants to study either marine biology or pre-veterinarian after she graduates.
“I’ve always loved animals and science, they’ve been a constant throughout my whole life,” she said, “There’s so many species we don’t understand. I think it’s interesting how much we don’t know.”
For her research, Mikaela and she are looking at the mortality of horseshoe crabs on Wallops Island.
Matt: Matt is an ocean and science enthusiast and he’s excited to be at the field station for his first time. A student at Terre Haute South High School in Terre Haute, IN, Matt grew up with a passion for marine life. He’s gone on snorkeling and scuba diving trips in Mexico with his father and maintains his own aquarium at home, which houses a yellow watchman goby, soft corals, a stony coral and clownfish. Matt wants to pursue marine biology after high school and is particularly interested in specializing in coral reefs. For his research, Matt will be analyzing recent trawl catches and compare these findings to former catches and data from a few years ago.
“I’m looking at bony fish populations and how factors like pH and salinity change over years,” he said.
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