Martina Van Etten spent much of the summer months on the campus of East Carolina University, where she learned to map the feeding regions of deepwater sablefish in the Pacific Ocean. The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation STEM Summer Immersion Program at East Carolina University had placed her in the lab of oceanographer Dr. Rebecca Asch. To tackle questions related to the effects of warming oceans on sablefish larvae, Asch and her post-doc Dr. Kat Dale mentored Martina in the use of deep-sea data sets and modeling tools.
Like the 11 other students in the competitive and fully-funded internship program, Martina spent ten weeks doing hands-on research and then presented a research poster during a symposium on the ECU campus. She also participated in field research on North Carolina coastal fish while aboard ECU’s research boat, the Sound Byte (see photo gallery below).
As a Biology undergraduate at UNC Pembroke, Martina first learned about the internship by way of the UNCP College of Arts and Sciences’ Instagram page. When asked about the impacts of the internship on her career plans, she responded, “I'm still unsure about what career path I want in life, although I do know I want to continue with my higher education after my BS. After gaining firsthand experience with coding, I want to definitely follow into a career that has a similar aspect to the modeling and data analysis that I did during my internship. I even plan on adding a minor in programming just so that I can continue to use and build the skills I learned throughout the summer! I also would like to do another summer internship to gain more skills and help me find my future passion and career.” Click here (UNCP News) and here (ECU News) to read more about Martina’s summer research experience.