Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Anything but Bored in Bermuda: REU 2013

My name is Amy Wong and I am a senior at the University of Georgia. Participation in the NSF-REU program at BIOS has afforded me the opportunity to conduct research in the beautiful islands of Bermuda. 
Working on the microscope

Derek, Esra, Ryan, and Amanda on the way to Nonsuch Island

While I didn’t know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by all experiences I’ve had and all the people I’ve met. Upon arrival, the first thing I did was cool down from the heat with a swim at Concrete Beach. Although it isn’t as spectacular as I once thought after seeing the real beaches of Bermuda, I still appreciate it as a great spot in the backyard of BIOS. From snorkeling at Whalebone Bay to streaking agar plates in the lab, I have been anything but bored in Bermuda.

Kelsey and Clarisse at Cooper's Island

During my project, I investigated the microbial communities of the coral Porites astreoides with culture work and fluorescent in situ hybridization, which gave me insight into the life of a researcher. I learned about the frustration and troubleshooting that occur when aspects of experiments do not work, in addition to the excitement of discovery.  

Watching the US beat Australia at the World Rugby Classic
Finishing a long day of walking with an amazing view 
Jobson's Cove

Outside of Naess laboratories, the REUs and myself have been lucky to do a lot of Bermuda exploration. Some of the highlights were walking from BIOS to Jobson’s Bay, SCUBA diving at The Cathedral, cliff jumping at Spanish Point, tubing in the Harrington Sound, attending a lecture at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, and hiking through Tom Moore’s Jungle. 

The REU program at BIOS is supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences under Grant No. 1262880.

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