Many universities offer a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, but they don't have what CSU Monterey Bay has to offer.
The bay and the National Marine Sanctuary – and the research institutions that surround them – are hard to beat for anyone interested in studying ocean science.
Taylor Eddy, a senior marine science major from Concord, is the only CSUMB student among the 11 who are participating this summer in the REU based on campus. One student is from Hartnell College in Salinas, the other nine come from all over the country.
It is funded by the National Science Foundation as a way of introducing undergraduates to research while providing out-of-classroom and networking opportunities.
Dr. Corey Garza, a professor in CSUMB's Division of Science and Environmental Policy, is the program director.
Eddy is working at Moss Landing Marine Labs, looking at humpback whale foraging ground in the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries.
“Most of my time is spent in the lab, creating maps and analyzing the data collected from cruises in the sanctuaries,” she said. That involves using ArcGIS and other statistical analysis software she had to learn this summer.
She also had an opportunity to go on one of those cruises where whales were tagged. Angela Szesciorka, the graduate student she is working with, invited her to go out on Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay one weekend. Her job was to get photo identification of the whales.
In addition to the lab work, she meets with her mentor occasionally and talks with the graduate students about their work.
When not in the lab, Eddy and the other REU students “spend quite a bit of time together,” she said, hiking, scuba diving and on outings to explore Cannery Row.
Diving was a big part of what drew her to CSUMB. “I came because of the growing marine science program, and I wanted to take up scuba diving. CSUMB has a great program in an amazing area.”
She plans to apply to graduate school in marine ecology and is looking into internships.
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(left to right): Danielle Perry, Bryce Melzer and Taylor Eddy. All are participants in CSUMB’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates in ocean science