Where are Former NCCOS Cooperative Oxford Laboratory Interns Now?
Several students associated with the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (COL) have graduated, are furthering their studies, or have published articles recently. Through their internships or time at COL, the students learned new scientific and technical skills while supporting many different areas of NCCOS research, including: climate impacts, biogeographic assessments, coastal ecosystem management, coastal pollution, ecoforecasting, water quality, and outreach. Below is sampling of some of the interns’ accomplishments since working at COL.
NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) student Darius Bell (Florida A&M University) graduated with his M.S. in April 2017. Darius worked at COL in the summers of 2015 and 2016 with COL partner agency Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He assisted DNR in the development of a Fish Health Assessment Index, which is being applied in NCCOS’s Choptank Ecological Assessment project. Darius is currently seeking employment and considering pursuit of a Ph.D.
Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) alumni Audy Peoples (University of Maryland Eastern Shore) graduated with his M.S. last semester. Audy interned at COL in the summers from 2013 to 2016 and worked with COL partner DNR on marine mammal and sea turtle strandings. Audy recently presented a poster at the Assateague UMES Aquatic Ecosystems Symposium. He is currently working at Assateague Island State Park.
LMRCSC undergraduate Nefertiti Smith (Hampton University) was a 2016 summer intern at COL. She worked with COL partner DNR on marine mammal and sea turtle strandings and wildlife health. Nefertiti accepted an internship with The Diversity Project to spend this summer at UCLA and the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea conducting coral research.
Current LMRCSC student Laura Alomodovar (University of Maryland Eastern Shore) has advanced to Ph.D. candidate status. Laura is conducting research at COL on black sea bass bioenergetics and habitat suitability modeling in the Chesapeake Bay.
Samih Taylor (Cheyney University), a 2015 LMRCSC-funded summer intern, worked on fish growth ratios for the Choptank Habitat Focus Area ecological assessment while at COL and assisted our DNR partners in stranding responses. Samih earned her B.S. in May 2017. She spent last summer in South Africa on an internship and has been accepted to veterinary medicine programs at the University of Pennsylvania (top pick), University of Edinburgh, and Ohio State University.
Maya Spaur, a University of Maryland undergraduate, was a 2016 Hollings Scholar and interned with COL during the summer of 2016. Maya applied models to assess oyster eutrophication and potential removal of nitrogen by oyster filtration on the Choptank Habitat Focus Area project. Maya received her B.S. in Environmental Science and B.A. in Government and Politics from University of Maryland in May 2017. She has been accepted to the Master of Health Science Program at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. This summer she will be working either as a preschool teacher, or as an intern with the Maryland Department of Agriculture studying how to control the spread of mosquitos and the Zika virus.
Drs. Wesley Siniard and Peter Sebastian (senior year externships at COL in 2015) have both accepted academic positions at the University of California, Davis.
Andy Xin was a veterinary intern at COL in May 2017. He is continuing his studies in his fourth year of veterinary school at the Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
Former COL technician Mejs Hasan (current Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina) published her first research paper, “Resiliency of the western Chesapeake Bay to total suspended solid concentrations following storms and accounting for land-cover.”
Congratulations to all the student scholars for their outstanding achievements!
For more information, contact Gretchen.Messick@noaa.gov.