Story and photo courtesy of CSU Chancellor's Office

CSU’s Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) and CSU Monterey Bay’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center have launched a summer research program that pairs students with COAST faculty at campuses across the system.

April Makukhov is working with green sea turtles in San Diego BayCSUMB undergraduates studying science, technology and mathematics are working with professors at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU East Bay, San Diego State and San Francisco State.
During their 10-week paid internships, students are researching topics such as the influence of temperatures on sea turtles, the sleeping patterns of sea slugs, development of non-toxic coating for boats and how organisms have adapted to changes in the environment.

The pilot program, which is leveraging UROC’s Department of Education HSI STEM and Articulation grant and COAST’s financial contributions, allows students to engage in research outside of the Monterey Bay area, with costs for housing and research supplies covered. Students were able to travel to their host CSU campus and participate in hands-on research opportunities. Additionally, undergraduate interns are working with – and learning from – graduate students in the host labs alongside the COAST faculty members.

“With COAST as a partner, students have been able to relocate for the summer to more distant locations,” said COAST Director Dr. Krista Kamer. “In fact, the student working with Dr. Jim Murray from CSU East Bay traveled to Washington this summer to work at the world-renowned Friday Harbor Labs.”

To give each student a well-rounded experience, pairings were carefully chosen based on the students’ interest and future goals, and faculty’s experience and expertise.

Students, faculty mentors and research topics:

Mark Callaghan, senior; Dr. James Murray, CSU East Bay; Say, can you see a sea slug sleep if a sea slug could show sleep?

April Makukhov, sophomore; Dr. Rebecca Lewison, San Diego State University; Hot Tub Time Machine: Influence of Temperature on Habitat Use of East Pacific Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in San Diego Bay

Lauren Tobosa, junior; Dr. Dean Wendt, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Fishing and Sticking: The Impact of MPAs on nearshore rockfish and the development of environmentally benign marine coatings

Carley Turner, senior; Dr. Jonathon Stillman, San Francisco State University; The expression of temperature responsive genes across fine-scale habitat variation in the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes cinctipes

COAST – a network of hundreds of CSU faculty members, scientists and students actively working to address the state’s critical marine and coastal issues – has made strides in research that are integral to the development of ocean, coast and coastal policy. In academic year 2011-12, COAST provided $181,000 in research support for CSU students. Scholars received the opportunity to work with CSU faculty on marine science projects; travel across the state, nation and world to present their findings; and participate in summer internships with organizations dedicated to conserving California’s ecosystems.

By providing students with hands-on experience, personal mentorship and rich curriculum, COAST has distinguished itself as being a resource for helping teach future scientists the skills and knowledge they need to become assets to the community.

Learn more about UROC 

Learn more about COAST

Photo: CSUMB sophomore April Makukhov is working with San Diego State's Dr. Rebecca Lewison (in center of photo) on a project looking at the influence of temperature on habitat use of green sea turtles in San Diego Bay