Pacifica Takata-Gulshkoff.

Richard B. Gump Research Station - Moorea Island, French Polynesia

Project Description

Bowdoin College Alumni Council Internship Fund Recipient

Since the age of nine, “I’ve been inspired by the stories of individual activists who help their local environments overcome human inflicted destruction. Since then, I have maintained my aspirations to study and help relieve environmental problems….I believe that climate change is the single most pressing threat that needs to be addressed through the collaboration of scientists, local communities, politicians, and economists.” Kitrea explored her own research interests in climate change and oceanography through a summer internship with Dr. Jim Hench’s research team at the Richard B. Gump Research Station, assisting his topographic research of coral reefs.

Kitrea helped deploy equipment to measure coral structures, collected photographs to use in 3D structure-from-motion analysis, used photo editing software to create composite images, and even created lesson plans on coral reef topography. When not working on Dr. Hench’s research, Kitrea spoke with other researchers “working on a variety of marine science projects, from cleaner fish psychology to algae ecology….As a result, I…have started to become a part of this world-wide network of marine researchers and 3D imaging scientists.”

Initially, Kitrea felt self-conscious about her perceived lack of experience and advanced scientific knowledge; however, “I have become far more comfortable speaking with adults whose prestige used to intimidate me.” Kitrea’s experience has solidified her post-graduation goals: “I started the summer without having given much thought to graduate school. In fact, I didn’t even quite understand what it was! Now I can confidently say that I would like to go to graduate school” and pursue field research of her own.

Project Details

  • Date July 19, 2016
  • Tags 2016, Alumni Council, Australia/Oceania, Environment, First Year, Science

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