Friday, June 27, 2014

Matthew - Week 1

Hello, my name is Matthew Mischke and I am currently attending Chemeketa Community College (CCC) in Salem, OR. After I finish earning my AAOT in the Fall, I will be applying for OSU to transfer Spring term. There I plan to pursue either the Environmental Sciences or Natural Resources program, with an emphasis on ecology. I decided to apply for the PRIME internship because I am excited to have an opportunity to do some field work and see what scientific research is really like. I want to pursue science as a career but I want to make sure that it really is the right fit for me, and what better way to learn than experience? I received word about the program from my biology teacher Dr. Schramm, who praised it for the opportunities it gave her former students and the wonderful experiences they had. For me, the ecology of estuaries is one of the most exciting and interesting subjects in marine and aquatic sciences. The incredible biodiversity and aesthetics for that matter, are breathtaking and incredibly important to all kinds of lifeforms. I had no other plans for the summer besides taking classes, which could always be moved back, so I decided to take action and Dr. Schramm's advice and applied. 

Evidently, I made the right choice as I am now working with Dr. Waldo Wakefield and graduate student Matt Yergey, researching juvenile flatfish communities here in and near Yaquina Bay. This research is being conducted through NOAA and is part of a long term research project started in 1977 by Pearcy and Krygier to look at the life history of local flatfish. Findings have shown so far that flatfish are using the estuaries as a nursery and migrating out to the open coastal waters. My responsibilities have so far consisted of logging the previously collected data in new databases for further analysis, but starting in the next few weeks I should be able to assist in data collection aboard one of the research vessels. 

When I haven't been working at NOAA, I've had some time to explore the local estuary. Here are some pictures I took of the area and of a Great Blue Heron landing to do some hunting. I look forward to an exciting and fun few weeks here at HMSC.

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