Interns Get Valuable Experience at CERCOM
By Anthony Vela
The Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM) at Molloy College hosted ten student interns this summer, hailing from Molloy College, Stevens Institute, and Boston University. Each student took part in CERCOM's data collection/research, gathering information on:
- Water quality by sampling multiple sites on the Great South Bay
- Horseshoe crab inventory and beach surveying
- Aquaculture maintenance and research
- Phytoplankton sampling and identification
- Daily meteorological data collection through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
- Lab experiments such as ocean acidification and horseshoe crab microbiome sampling
According to Dr. John T. Tanacredi, CERCOM Director and Professor of Earth and Environmental Studies at Molloy College, there are several key benefits to interning at CERCOM Field Station, "The internship reinforces and expands on concepts student's learn in the classroom about the natural sciences. Students appreciate and come to understand how scientists formulate scientific theory, and observe results of how natural systems work and function." The internship employs skills across disciplines, as students must employ writing, math calculations, photography, scientific research and real-time data collection.
Brian Ford, as student at Molloy College majoring in Biology described his experience, "I've expanded my view of my relationship with nature and my chosen career. As interns we are given a lot of responsibility: collecting important data or making sure the labs are in a suitable condition for organisms to thrive. This allowed me to realize what I am capable of and has given me more confidence. I have become more environmentally conscious because I have seen firsthand how the populations of some aquatic organisms are dwindling. I also learned the importance of paying close attention to detail when recording data, and believe this awareness will help me as I pursue a career in medicine."
"My CERCOM internship was a great educational experience and helped me realize that I would like to pursue a career in the environmental science. Working with horseshoe crabs showed me the importance of respecting nature, every living thing has a purpose and an importance to our world. The respect we give nature helps other species survive, and it allows us to learn from those species that have been around since before the evolution of modern-day humans," said Molloy College Earth and Environmental Studies major Drew O'Connor.
Molloy College Nursing student Daman Kaur signed up for the summer internship after a visit to CERCOM field station in his General Education class. "This internship has been very rewarding, it has taught me many valuable lessons, and expanded my relationship with nature. The rate at which we are destroying some ecosystems is faster than the rate at which they are healing. This experience reaffirmed my belief that humans should have an appreciation for all life. I find the fact that horseshoe crabs have been around since the age of the dinosaurs very interesting. Humans are one of the major predators of horseshoe crabs, and I am conflicted about our relationship with the crabs. Some people use horseshoe crabs as bait while fishing, and horseshoe crab blood is used in to formulate medications. I don't think we fully appreciate the impact we have on these animals. This internship has allowed me to appreciate various types of life and the forms in which they exist."
Interns gathering data.