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Marine Science Summer Internships at MBL

As students settle into summer vacation, many are looking forward to a summer of exploration. For some, that opportunity will be facilitated through Tabor’s partnership with Marine Biological Laboratory.
 
Tabor is again in the enviable position of being granted several opportunities for our students to work over the summer at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. There are seven opportunities this year, up from three last year.
 
Usually reserved for college students, this is the second year they have offered opportunities to Tabor upperclassmen interested in Marine Science. While they are unpaid internships, the opportunity to engage in a high-level scientific community and network with incredible scientists working at one of the best marine science labs in the country is hard to pass up.
 
Read on about each of these are amazing opportunities for our students to benefit from our partnership with Marine Biological Laboratory.
 
 
1.        Collection Support and Data Capture Internship
 
Students will join collection trips on the Gemma, MBL’s collection vessel to participate in the collection of specimens and animals and develop a photo document inventory from each collection. The student would also help with general monitoring of species, tanks, and other Marine Resources Department orders. 
 
2.        Science Communication & Outreach Internship
 
Students will work with MBL staff from the MBL/WHOI Library, Communications Department, and Marine Resources Department to do general research on scientific breakthroughs and/or species integral to MBL’s history and share this information while leading public and school tours. Students will also help take care of living exhibits in the touch tank at MBL’s Visitor Center and answer public questions on touch tank exhibits.
 
3.        Marine Life Support systems
 
Maintaining living marine species in the laboratory is a multi-disciplinary challenge.   Keeping marine species in optimal health and condition requires the application of chemistry, biology, engineering, physics and mathematics as part of regular operations.  The wide range of biodiversity maintained at the MBL, ranging from arctic to tropical conditions, presents students with an array of opportunities to experience life support system design, seawater chemistry, marine pathology, animal care techniques and marine facility maintenance.  The internship at the MBL in Marine Life Support systems provides exposure to a wide range of marine species, from sponges to squid to sharks.   Students learn hands-on marine animal husbandry, life support system design and maintenance, and assist in field collections.
 
4.        Butterfly Curation
 
This intern will help to curate the Director’s butterfly collection for his lab by helping to organize the collection. The student will also have the opportunity to do research on structural coloration by photographing scales to see which structural color they are creating. 
 
5.        Cephalopod Aquarist
 
Working with MBL’s manager of cephalopod operations, students will conduct daily cleaning and maintenance of live animal exhibits; assist with routine assessment rounds to check tank conditions, animal health, and life support systems status; feed and take general care of animals, harvest eggs/raise hatchlings/brood-stock management; assist with life support design and maintenance, assist with refurbishing old systems, cleaning, sanding, and painting; conduct live food culture and live food field collections; routine laboratory cleaning/organizing/upkeep; and data entry. This opportunity provides students with invaluable hands-on experience with mariculture systems for multiple cephalopod species, everything from feeding animals to designing systems. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of cephalopod species as well as cutting-edge research, technology, and techniques. Students will also assist with ongoing studies to be submitted for publication, providing students with a great opportunity to receive acknowledgment or co-authorship on a scientific paper. Some ongoing studies include developing a species’ ethogram, describing a species life cycle, optimizing reproductive potential, improving prey cultures, and maximizing hatchling survivorship, among others.
 
6.        Cephalopod Research Assistant
 
Working with MBL’s manager of cephalopod operations students will help improve the Hawaiian bobtail squid culture. They will assess various prey types/dietary transitions to optimize Euprymna growth and survivorship; feed and take general care of the species; harvest eggs/raise hatchlings/broodstock management; assist with routine assessment rounds to check tank conditions, animal health, and life support systems status; create new rearing systems; life support system design and maintenance; live food field collections of grass shrimp, crabs, plankton, etc.; conduct routine laboratory cleaning/organizing/upkeep; and data entry (quantifying growth, survivorship, fecundity, life span, etc.).
 
7.        Central Microscopy Facility (CMF)
 
The student intern will assist CMF staff to help train users on the microscopes and they will clean the microscopes and preparation areas after a training or use session. With the guidance of CMF staff, they will assist resident faculty and staff, visiting researchers, and students. Students will also have the opportunity to help facilitate MBL’s extensive industry loaner equipment process, which serves hundreds of advanced training and undergraduate students each summer and fall. This opportunity provides a wide ranging introduction into the high tech and growing field of biological imaging across a wide variety of imaging modalities common in laboratories as well as cutting edge instruments that are yet to be commercialized.
 
We wish our all our students, and our MBL interns, a wonderful summer of exploration and discovery!
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