My summer with remote research
Climate change is a pressing issue that is and will continue to affect all life on earth. Throughout these past 10 weeks, I have had the rare opportunity to study the effects of ocean acidification on the calcification of different marine animals, specifically in environments that these animals will naturally face within the next century. Before this internship, I did not have much knowledge regarding this topic, but after working with my peers and mentors, I realized the importance of this work and have found this to be both an eye opening as well as an enriching experience.
Due to the unfortunate events we have been facing, the internship was structured differently this year, making this a unique process for everyone. As opposed to a traditional lab setting, my mentors (Aaron Ninokawa and Alisha Saley), my peers, and I focused on analyzing similar research previously conducted by others under the lens of our topic. We extracted data from a multitude of papers and compiled that data, which allowed us to see patterns and gain a deeper understanding about how ocean acidification affects calcification.
We were also given the chance to pursue individual projects related to our central topic. I chose to study how ocean acidification specifically affects the proteins that are responsible for calcification. I independently sought out papers that would be beneficial, and used them to learn more about the biochemistry associated with calcification. I discovered that pH and temperature are the driving factors that down regulate these proteins.
This research is important, we must be able to predict the future conditions of our oceans and use that information to protect the animals that call it home. Being able to take part in this internship was truly an amazing experience. I learned so much about the process of research and the incredible work that is being done at the Bodega Marine Lab. I am thankful to everyone who has helped me through these past few months; the skills and connections I have made have greatly assisted me in building my career as a future scientist.
Biography: Inder Bhangoo is a recent SRJC graduate who will be transferring to UC Davis in the fall. He worked with Aaron Ninokawa and Alisha Saley as a part of the Gaylord lab at Bodega Marine lab.