Two people perched on rocks and working on a scientific survey
Quinn and mentor Lily taking a crab survey at the BML reserve

Crabs Runnin' Hot: Intertidal Organisms and Rising Ocean Temperature

A Santa Rosa Junior College - Bodega Marine Laboratory Internship Program Story

Quinton Adair is a third-year biology major at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), intending to transfer to a University of California (UC) in 2024. He is passionate about science and wants to pursue a career in medicine or medical/biological research. 

As a biology major completing my second semester at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), I had never experienced working in a professional lab setting or engaging in scientific fieldwork. Like many college students, I questioned whether my chosen career path was right for me. Joining this internship was a step towards finding clarity and a deeper understanding of my future. Initially, when I learned about the internship opportunity, conflicting thoughts raced through my mind. On one hand, I recognized that this experience was necessary to reaffirm my academic and personal aspirations. On the other hand, I doubted whether I possessed the necessary knowledge and capabilities to be part of such a program. Looking back now, I can confidently say I belong in the scientific community.


A rocky tidepool area with one person up on the bluff and another in the water, where urchins, algae, and other marine life can be seen.
Quinn tide pooling before surveying


    During this internship, I had the privilege of being paired with my mentor, Lily McIntire, a fourth-year Marine Ecology Ph.D. student specializing in Thermal Ecology. The experiment I assisted Lily with aimed to explore how thermal quality affects habitat selection and thermoregulatory behaviors in intertidal animals. Throughout the internship, I had the opportunity to assist Lily in various research activities, starting with fieldwork. Together, we ventured to different field sites during low tide to gather data on intertidal organisms. My role involved using various scientific data collection tools, including an infrared camera, a light reader, and a multi-functional environmental meter. Among these tools, I was particularly intrigued and inspired by biomimetic models. Lily handcrafted these models using epoxy, shells, and sponges, creating scientifically accurate tools that showcase the creativity and ingenuity crucial to scientific research. Another aspect of my internship involved Camera Imaging Analysis. During fieldwork, I strategically placed cameras near burrows or crevices with high activity levels. I then analyzed the captured images, tracking movement using Image J software. 

    As I conclude this internship, I am filled with pride for the research I conducted and confidence in the skills I've acquired. Beyond research, I've grown as a student, professional, and self-advocate. Weekly professional development meetings provided invaluable insights into science careers, presenting findings, and advocating for oneself within the scientific community. This experience has granted me a network of peers and mentors, solidifying my path and aspirations within the scientific realm. The journey has been nothing short of transformative, guiding me toward a future where I can contribute to the preservation of our natural world.

About the Program: 

The SRJC-BML Internship Program provides summer research opportunities for Santa Rosa Junior College students at the Bodega Marine Laboratory.

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