Monday, January 13, 2014

Emily Hladky's Internship, Spring 2014 - Part 1

My name is Emily Hladky and I am currently a senior at Eckerd College, which is located in St. Petersburg, Florida. This summer I interned in the paleoclimatology lab at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science of St. Petersburg, and continued my internship into the fall semester. Throughout that time I extruded cores, prepared and washed samples, picked foraminifera from the samples, and participated in scientific discussions. Throughout the past semester, all foraminifera that were picked were identified to the species level and counted. The goal is to assess the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the community structure of benthic foraminifera. To date, cores from two affected sites and one natural seep site have been picked and identified. The findings will be presented at the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference at the end of January in Mobile, Alabama.

Throughout the spring semester, I will continue to work on my project with my mentor, Deep-C researcher Dr. Patrick Schwing. I have looked at cores that were collected in 2010, and I hope to look at cores collected from the same locations but from 2011 and 2012, as well as a control site, in order to create a timeline of events and better understand the effects that the oil spill had on deep-sea benthic foraminifera. Until then, the month of January will be a stressful month balancing school and preparing for the conference, but it will be rewarding and I am looking forward to new experiences.

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Emily Hladky - St. Petersburg, FL

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