By Grace Cuevas
This June, I began a GenSea marine biology internship led by Dr. Kim de Mutsert and graduate student, Adam Murray. During this internship, I worked alongside Adam as we tested the tolerance ranges for both salinity and temperature and how these two variables interacted with local shrimp species. I took part in both retrieving and caring for the shrimp and testing the water quality parameters of the shrimp that resided in tanks. This internship proved to be both academically engaging and beneficial as I got to take part in a graduate level research project.
One of my favorite experiences from this internship was shrimping. During the shrimping process, we were able to retrieve around 1000 grass shrimp that we could use for the project. We used nets to scoop the shrimp from the marsh and then we transferred them into buckets. Although the shrimping process was tedious, we were able to retrieve a plethora of grass shrimp that we could effectively use for our research.
After retrieving the shrimp, we sorted them into their respective tanks and began to care for them. A key part of caring for the shrimp was testing their water quality parameters. To do this, I used a YSI meter to test the temperature, DO, and salinity of the tanks the shrimp resided in. This process proved vital to our research, so I recorded my findings in a spreadsheet. Another big part in caring for the shrimp was also feeding them and disposing of the dead ones. The mortality rate of the shrimp was key to understanding the effects that both the salinity and temperature had on the shrimp.
The hands on experiences I have been able to take part of throughout my GenSea internship has not only given me a better idea of what having a STEM career is like, but has also set me up for success as I begin my journey in my own STEM related studies.