Thursday, May 9, 2024

Unis diversify ocean science with summer internships.

Ocean Springs Summer Internship Program Concludes with Research Symposium

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) – The third annual Ocean Explorer Internship Program concluded with a research symposium held at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Ocean Springs. The symposium served as an opportunity for students to showcase what they had learned throughout the exclusive summer internship program.

Students from Tuskegee University Excel in the Program

Ten students from Tuskegee University participated in the Ocean Explorer Internship Program. The students, namely Kimberly Henderson, Peyton Lockett, Dheaven Angeletti, Jasmine Rodriguez, Imani Jones, Guadalupe Zapata, Koby Bush, Madya Watson, Makya Coleman, and Kristopher Burke, were praised for their dedication and hard work by Dr. Jessie Kastler.

Diverse Research Locations for Deep Ocean Research

Through a strategic partnership between Tuskegee University and USM, each student was given the opportunity to conduct deep ocean research in various locations, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Ocean Springs.

Opening Doors to the Oceanic Industry for Minority Students

The 10-week Ocean Explorer Internship Program aims to provide minority students with exposure to the oceanic industry, encouraging diversity within the field. The initiative aligns with NOAA’s mission to diversify its workforce.

Internship Experiences: Mapping the Gulf’s Sea Floor and Investigating Bacteria Interactions

One of the interns, Makya Coleman, was assigned the task of mapping the sea floor of the Gulf aboard USM’s research vessel Point Sur. Dr. Leonardo Macelloni, Coleman’s mentor and the crew’s chief scientist, praised her work and highlighted the lack of diversity in ocean science.

Another intern, Dheaven Angeletti, focused on investigating bacteria interactions and the impact of temperature on phytoplankton. Although it was a new field for Angeletti, she expressed excitement about diving deep into this new realm of scientific exploration.

Success and Enrichment through Collaboration

The collaboration between Tuskegee University and USM was nurtured virtually during the pandemic, with both institutions sharing the goal of expanding horizons. Dr. Ramble Ankumah, representing Tuskegee University, emphasized the importance of representation in all aspects of life for enrichment.

Funding and Recognition

The Ocean Explorer Research Program received funding from the NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute (OECI), enabling its continued success and impact.

Conclusion

The Ocean Explorer Internship Program has successfully provided minority students with invaluable experiences and opportunities in oceanic research. The symposium held at USM allowed the interns to share their newfound knowledge and skills. This collaborative effort between Tuskegee University and USM is not only shaping the future of ocean science but also working towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the industry.

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