Summer Science Research
Clarissa Buchholz '14, Taylor Dee '15 and Jasmine Sturr '16 all participated in the 2013 Summer Science Research Program.
This summer, Tanya Camper ’14 and Georgina Stone ’14 took their studies outside the classroom–specifically to the Pacific Ocean.
The pair participated in the Summer Science Research Program, run through the Stauffer Center. Together with Dr. Lei Lani Stelle, associate professor of biology, Camper and Stone studied blue whales off Dana Point. They spent 165 hours on various boats, studying the mammals and the human traffic that surrounded them.
“We were actively on the water doing research, as opposed to being in a lab,” Camper said. “It was really exciting.”
This year, 26 undergraduates worked with faculty members on different scientific projects and were paid minimum wage. Some, like Campr and Stone, worked in the field and others worked at Loma Linda University thorough a partnership. All of the students presented their findings during informational sessions held on Wednesdays over the summer.
“Every year the students' presentations get better, more polished,” Summer Science Research Director Dr. Barbara Murray said. “For many of them, it is the first time they’ve ever had to get up in front of a crowd of people and discuss science with a PowerPoint presentation and the possibility of questions afterwards. They do an outstanding job, and I am always impressed.”
Camper and Stone presented their research, “Behavioral Analysis and Distribution of Marine Mammals in Southern California,” during the final summer 2013 presentation August 14.
“The highlight of the summer was being able to be around blue whales, the largest animal to ever live or exist on Earth,” Stone said. “It was amazing. Neither of us had ever seen a blue whale before this summer.”
The student’s work doesn’t stop once the summer is over, as they also prepare posters based on their research.
“They really mature as scientists in 10 weeks,” Murray said. “Most of them now are supposed to be preparing a poster for an undergraduate research conference taking place in November. Redlands sends a lot of students, and they have their poster ready so when November comes along, they don’t have to suddenly put together a poster when they’re in the fall semester and won’t have time.”
An open to the public poster session will also be held on campus from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 25 in Hedco Hall.
Posted: August 16, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia