First Week

Hello everyone!  I just finished my first week as an intern at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and already I’ve learned and completed so much.  On Tuesday morning I met with my mentor, Adam, and he gave me a more in-depth tour of the buildings I’ll be working in.  He showed me the Johnson House, which serves as a rehabilitation center for stranded marine mammals, especially dolphins, and introduced me to some of the people I’ll be working with during the dolphin health assessment.  We also went into the necropsy lab, which is where scientists perform the equivalent of a human autopsy on whales, dolphins, sharks, and other aquatic mammals.  Hopefully I’ll be able to help out with one of those.  The rest of the day of the day was spent discussing some of the work I’ll be helping him with and then completing a review of previous journal articles published on the same subject. 

The rest of this week has mostly been spent in our office.  I share a room with Adam, another intern, and a couple other people conducting research at Harbor Branch.  So far I’ve written an introduction and methods section summarizing why our study will be beneficial and what type of work we will be doing.  Each intern has to write a paper and present their completed research at the end of the summer, so I already have a lot of work for that done!  We have also collected and ordered a few materials we need for the human sample collections, like scissors and culturettes.  Today Adam had me help him with growing and splitting some dolphin cells.  In addition to the mercury analysis, we are also looking at antibiotic resistant bacteria found in the dolphins residing in the Indian River Lagoon, so he has recruited me to assist him with some of that lab work since I’ve worked with cell cultures before. 

All in all its been a great week, but I am definitely looking forward to the long weekend.  Tonight some of the interns are getting together at a nearby beach and having a barbecue and then we are gonna get together again on Monday and go out on one of the intern’s boats.  A nice fun and relaxing weekend after a week of hard work 🙂

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