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Biology and Environmental Science News

Kathryn Merrick was named the Division III Mid-Atlantic Offensive Player of the week for lacrosse in the Baltimore Sun. Kathryn is a senior biochemistry major and also the historian for the Tribeta Biological Honor Society. Congratulations Kathryn!

Senior Biology major, Ava Schein, secured a government contract position a month before graduation with the company JHT Incorporated. Through JHT Incorporated, she will be working as a Laboratory Technician for NOAA at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, MD. The main project she will be focusing on there is creating daily forecasts of vibrio pathogens in the Chesapeake Bay using methods such as microbial DNA extraction and PCR/rtPCR. When asked what her favorite part of being at SU has been, Ava responded, “I love the tight-knit community, especially in the school of sciences. I feel like I have good relationships with almost all of the professors I’ve encountered over the years. These professional relationships are not only pivotal when looking for employment, but they really boosted my morale and determination to do well in my field. I really felt like they believed in me, and therefore I believed in myself.” Way to go Ava!

Junior Environmental Science major, Diamonique Clark, was accepted into a ten week REU program and will be staying at the El Verde Station in El Yunque National Rainforest, Puerto Rico, this summer. While there, she will have the opportunity to study the recruitment dynamics of Pterocarpus officinalis, a legume tree.  For the first two weeks, Diamonique will work with her mentor to refine her project design. Following this, she will present her proposal to the program officers in order to continue with her research. At the conclusion of the program, Diaominique will present her research at a poster session open to students and faculty at the University of Puerto Rico. When asked what advice she would give to other students who want to take this path, Diamonique responded, “My advice to students that would like to study environmental science is to do whatever you must to gain experience. I encourage all future environmentalists to volunteer in your community, get your hands dirty, help with an environmental based project, or create one of your own. Research the careers environmentalist have, then, go for it!” Congratulations Diamonique!

Senior Biology major Keeley Cook and senior Biotechnology BS/MS major Nichole Young both recently earned a College Reading and Learning Association Master Level Certificate. They received their certification awards at the 2nd annual . Keeley demonstrated her dedication to her fellow students, as well as her persistence to earn this certificate through 75+ hours of actual tutoring experience (Levels I, II and III), hours of training on required topics, and other requirements. Nichole was additionally honored at the banquet with a medal for working in the Academic link for over two years.

Dr. Keith Johnson, Diamonique Clark (ENV '16), and Jessica Kim (BIO '15) recently travelled to Quebec City in Quebec, Canada to present their research on the “Presence and Diversity of Marine Life on Artificial and Natural Reefs in the Chesapeake Bay” at the Xth Benthic Ecology Meeting. Their work was completed as part of the Stevenson Reef Ball Project, in which all freshman School of the Sciences majors participate, making concrete reef balls that are deposited in the Chesapeake Bay to help rebuild reef habitat for marine life. A portion of Dr. Johnson's research focuses on recording the diversity of organisms inhabiting the artificial reef in order to determine whether it is having the desired effect.

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