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Marine studies summer internship program enters 25th year

July 23, 2012 — As a double major in math and biology, St. Mary’s College senior Cara Simpson was excited to find a way to combine her two interests with an internship at the University of Delaware this summer: She is helping crunch numbers to figure out how wind speed affects shark-tracking equipment.

“That’s definitely what hooked me into choosing this program,” the aspiring marine scientist said. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity.”

Simpson is participating in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s highly competitive summer marine science intern program, established 25 years ago as one of the first nationwide. With an acceptance rate only around 3 percent, the program is supported in large part by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

Based on their interests, selected students are matched with faculty and spend 10 weeks conducting graduate-level research at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Interns work on topics in chemical, physical and biological oceanography; marine biology; marine geology; and marine biochemistry. This summer, their projects focus on a wide range of issues including horseshoe crab habitats, sea spray and marine vision.