AOML Welcomes 2022 Summer Interns – NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (2022)

On National Intern Day, AOML is celebrating our largest internship class ever – 30 interns ranging from high school students to post doctoral fellows. They are joining us from schools across the country, from California to Florida, and are researching corals, microbes, hurricanes, air-sea interaction, ocean acidification, communications strategies, and much more.

Meet the 2022 cohort below!

Jacqueline Bloom joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division as a graduate of Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School. Jacqueline is a volunteer intern with the Engineering Group to learn about the technology and instruments used in oceanography so as to better understand the tools for ocean conservation.

Charles (Hank) Dolce joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division as a NOAA-William Lapenta summer intern. Hank is from Texas A&M University and will work with Drs. Renellys Perez and Greg Foltz to study the response of upper ocean velocity in the subtropical North Atlantic to strong wind forcing events using observations from the Tropical Atlantic Current Observations Study (TACOS) deployment at 20°N, 38°W.

Rebecca Foody joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division as a NOAA-William Lapenta summer intern. Rebecca is a rising senior at Cornell University majoring in earth and atmospheric sciences. She will work with Drs. Shenfu Dong and Marlos Goes to estimate air-sea turbulent fluxes using weather station data collected along the expendable bathythermograph (XBT) AX07 transect (Miami, Florida to Algeciras, Spain) over the past few years and evaluate uncertainties in the existing flux products from reanalysis.

Edward (Ted) Gniffke joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA/Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems summer intern. Ted is an M.S. graduate student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley studying mesophotic octocoral microbiomes in the western Gulf of Mexico. He will work with Dr. Ian Enochs and use RNA interference to conduct a gene knockdown/thermal stress assay in the Experimental Reef Lab using the endangered coral Acropora cervicornis. This experiment is designed to identify key molecular mechanisms responsible for thermal resilience in corals.

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Victoria Grisson joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA-William Lapenta summer intern. Victoria is a rising senior at the University of Texas Austin and will work with Drs. Chris Sinigalliano and Maribeth Gidley to conduct research on microbial water quality using eDNA sampling, qPCR microbial source tracking, and microbiome characterization.

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Salvador Horna joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division as a MAST Academy high school volunteer intern. Salvador will work with Dr. Claudia Schmid to develop code for the US Argo Data Assembly Center.

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Amanda Keane joined AOML’s Hurricane Research Division in June as a University of Miami summer intern. Amanda is currently a graduate student at the Rosenstiel School pursuing a Master of Professional Science (MPS) degree in Natural Hazards and Catastrophes. She will work with Dr. Michael Fischer on a project to investigate the characteristics of rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones using tail Doppler radar observations obtained by NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

Sydney Lam joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division to work with Dr. Stephanie Rosales to observe the functionality of the Subsurface Automated Sampler for environmental DNA, or SASe, a sampler deployed in the ocean to collect environmental DNA. Sydney is also working with Dr. Luke Thompson to learn about the Opentron machines, which are liquid handling robots that can be programmed via code or protocol design. She is a recent graduate of the School for Advanced Studies (high school) and will begin her freshman year at the University of Florida in September as a computer science major.

Diana Lima joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a summer intern with the newly launched CIMAS-Miami-Dade College internship program. Diana is a third-year student at Florida International University studying chemistry. She will work with Dr. Stephanie Rosales and Katie Eaton on coral microbiomes from outplanted reefs.

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Gabriella Lirio joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA/NERTO (i.e., NOAA/Experiential Research and Training Opportunities) intern. Gabriella is a graduate student at Florida A&M University majoring in environmental science. She will work with Dr. Emily Osborne to investigate the impacts of ocean acidification on foraminifera in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Interning and working with NOAA has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I have enjoyed being able to work and learn alongside these NOAA Scientists,” said Gabriella.

Nicole Luchau joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA-William Lapenta summer intern. Nicole is from New York University and will work with Drs. Sean Anderson and Luke Thompson on eDNA sampling in coral reef environments around Miami, as well as other eDNA/microbiome projects.

Keir Macartney joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA-Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems postdoctoral scientist from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Keir will work with Dr. Michael Studivan to investigate the role that heterotrophic feeding might have on the resilience of Port of Miami corals relative to their offshore counterparts.

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Connie Machuca joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA/NERTO, i.e., NOAA/Experiential Research and Training Opportunities, intern. Connie will work with Drs. Kelly Goodwin and Nastassia Patin to develop core bioinformatics skills by working with amplicon and metagenomic sequences acquired from coastal watersheds that receive varying amounts of pesticide input.She is currently a California State University Monterey Bay graduate student majoring in environmental science.

“Despite being virtual, I have received so much invaluable support from the AOML staff, researchers, and other interns. Learning bioinformatics tools has been very challenging, but having the support from AOML has helped me overcome many obstacles and allowed me to grow as a student, scientist, and researcher,”said Connie.

Lakean McGregor joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA-Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems summer intern. Lakean is an M.S. graduate student at Bethune Cookman University studying climate change impacts on seahorses. He will work in the ‘Omics Lab to investigate the correlations between temperature, salinity, and seagrasses with lined seahorse and juvenile sportfish in Florida Bay using a 15-year dataset from Florida Bay.

Darimar Ortiz-Davila joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division as a NOAA-Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO) intern from the University of Puerto Rico. Darimar will work with Dr. Rick Lumpkin to quantify the impacts of Sargassum accumulation on seagrass beds in southwestern Puerto Rico by comparing a 2010 baseline map to 2022 satellite imagery. To do this, she is learning how to analyze high-resolution satellite data, apply atmospheric and water column corrections, and also conduct field measurements for validation using a drop camera equipped with GPS.

Bruno Rojas joined AOML’s Hurricane Research Division as a NOAA-William Lapenta summer intern. Bruno is a PhD candidate at Penn State University where he’s working with Anthony Didlake to examine eyewall replacement cycles using observations. At AOML, Bruno will work with Dr .Sim Aberson to review the analyses of Hurricane Dorian (2019) using the Hurricane Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) during Dorian’s period of rapid intensification north of the Antilles.

Benjamin Ross joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a CCME/NERTO postdoctoral researcher based at Florida A&M University, working with Dr. Emily Osborne. Ben’s work centers on studying the genomes of planktic foraminifera and implications that cryptic species of foraminifera have on paleoclimate applications. Ben’s sample set includes live foraminifera that he collected by plankton tow during the GOMECC-4 cruise in Fall of 2021.

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Sabrina Rule joined AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division to work with the Engineering Group. Sabrina is a MAST Academy high-school student who will assist the engineering team with software and hardware tasks, as well as other duties/responsibilities, in support of PhOD’s field projects.

Francis Serrano joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a University of Miami-Rosenstiel School summer intern. Francis studied environmental biology at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently a Rosenstiel School graduate student studying fisheries management and conservation. He will work with Drs. Sean Anderson and Luke Thompson in the ‘Omics lab to use his skills in helping collect, extract, and analyze eDNA data.

Alexia Soriano joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a MAST Academy high school volunteer intern. Alexia will work with Dr. Enrique Montes to assist with building a PlanktoScope.

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Courtney White joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a NOAA-Educational Partnership Program/Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) summer intern. Courtney is from Nova Southeastern University and will work with Jia-Zhong Zhang on a statistical analysis of historical water quality data from Florida Bay.

“My time at AOML has allowed me to turn aspirations into actualities. I am thankful for the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to a mission that I am passionate about. Wherever I go next, from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean, I am excited to use what I have learned, and will continue to learn, to be a lifelong ambassador for the blue planet.”

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Lara Zadeh joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division in July as a MAST Academy high school volunteer intern working with Dr. Enrique Montes to assist with building a PlanktoScope, an open source plankton imager, and learning new technology applications to study marine plankton.

“Being able to work with so many wonderful scientistshas shown me what it means to work as part of a team and to truly love what you do; whether it’s out on the field, in the lab, or in the building’s halls there is never a lack of positivity or support at NOAA. As someone who’s always had an interest in natural science, this internship has allowed me to explore my passions, while further developing laboratory and research skills. I am excited for this journey at NOAA and grateful for the experiences I’ve had during my internship,” said Lara.

Interns Beyond Summer

Rowan Thomas joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division as a University of Miami-Rosenstiel School student intern.

AOML Welcomes 2022 Summer Interns – NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (8)

Holly Stahl joined AOML’s Office of the ­Director in June as a University of Miami-­Cooperative ­Institute Communications Intern. Holly will spend the next year working with AOML’s Communications Team to ­promote the lab’s research activities and accomplishments by writing science articles for the AOML website, maintaining and growing the lab’s social media platforms, supporting outreach activities, and other duties. She will also work with the Hurricane Research Division to highlight Hurricane Field Program activities during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Holly holds a BS degree in ­Geography-Climatic Studies from The Ohio State University with minors in Environmental Science and Media ­Production and ­Analysis. She is currently working toward a Master of Professional Science degree in ­Climate and Society at the ­University of Miami’s ­Rosenstiel School of ­Marine, ­Atmospheric, and Earth Science.

AOML Welcomes 2022 Summer Interns – NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (9)

Olivia Howson joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystem Division in June as a University of Miami-Cooperative Institute Communications Intern. Olivia will spend the next year working with AOML’s Communications Team to ­promote the lab’s research activities and accomplishments by writing science articles for the AOML website, maintaining and growing the lab’s social media platforms, supporting outreach activities, and other duties. She is currently working toward a Master of Professional Science degree in ­Marine Conservation at the ­University of Miami’s ­Rosenstiel School of ­Marine, ­Atmospheric, and Earth Science.

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Morgan Chakraborty joined AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystem Division in February as a year-long Coral Program intern. She works in the coral restoration program and the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program, often going into the field to do instrument maintenance and surveys. Morgan is also running her own experiment, determining calcification rates of Acropora cervicornis at different light saturation levels. Morgan has a Master of Professional Science degree from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, ­Atmospheric, and Earth Science and a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Arizona.

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