A person in a BML shirt and pink baseball cap holding up a crab

Spotlight On: Rachel Sniderman

 Rachel Sniderman is a second-year undergraduate whose major is undeclared but leaning toward Biological Sciences

What is it that you do for BML?

fieldI’m responsible for BML student outreach, which means spreading the word about the opportunities available in Bodega Bay and helping students actually get out there! My biggest desire is to spread the word of the newly founded Marine and Coastal Science major and involve undergraduate students.

What are you involved in on campus?

Other than working for the Bodega Marine Lab, I am a panel member on the Campus Judicial Board, and a camp counselor for Cal Aggie Camp. I’m also currently involved in research in Andrew Whitehead’s environmental toxicology lab on campus and hope to join the club's ultimate frisbee team.

What is your most memorable experience at UC Davis?

My most memorable experience in college is definitely my stay at the Bodega Marine Lab the summer after my Freshman year. I took two classes; one focusing on Biological Oceanography and another discussing marine environmental issues. My 6 week program was filled with field trips, research, a few tests, and memories I will remember for the rest of my life. It was amazing to be able to live in such a unique environment and study it at the same time. I met some really spectacular people, from students to teachers, graduate students and BML faculty. I was also given the opportunity to gain research and laboratory skills that will serve me in the future.

How has your experience at BML shaped what you want to do with your future?

At BML, I started to understand just how much more there is to learn. It was eye-opening. It gave me the confidence to pursue research back on campus, and the skills needed to actually get a position. I got to get some hands-on experience in Tessa Hill’s lab, and the best part was definitely being outside in the field, trying to deal with rising tides and slippery rocks and crashing waves while laying out transects and counting mussel shells.

What would be your dream project? What research question do you wish you could answer?

Tough question. I think if I could investigate any question at all, I would go into marine animal behaviors. I think the social interactions and the complex communities that form in the ocean are so cool, and I want to understand them better.


How do you want/plan to make a lasting impact?

I want to help educate people about their impacts on our home, and show them how to take better care of it. I’d love to help protect our planet from human impact, in some way, whether it be by teaching rural populations about the effects of their trash in the water, or by finding alternatives to fossil fuels for our cars.

Any advice for those who are just starting at UC Davis?

Do as much as you can- but make sure you have time for yourself. I love being involved on campus and being busy, but I also know that I have to understand my limit of what I can handle before I lose it. There are so many clubs and groups and activities to join on campus, it can be overwhelming, but stick to what makes you happy and you’ll find your group!

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