NSF GRIP NOAA Opportunity Position
Project title: Robotic detection of harmful algal blooms
Hypothesis or objectives: The goal of this project is to deploy the Imaging Flow Cytobot (IFCB) for the first time in Puget Sound to detect harmful Dinophysis species. This is part of a larger collaborative project, funded by NOAA's Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms program, that is a collaboration of scientists from Texas, Virginia, New York, California, and Washington State to understand the physical drivers of Dinophysis blooms. This harmful alga caused the first ever illness of 3 people who ate contaminated shellfish from Sequim Bay, WA, the site where the IFCB will be deployed. The student will work with investigators from around the country to optimize the detection and enumeration of Dinophysis cells.
Duration: 3 - 12 months
Area(s) of discipline: Environmental Health
Internship location: Seattle, WA
Duties and responsibilities: The student will work with University of Washington and NOAA researchers to deploy the IFCB, interpret the data, and optimize the algorithms for cell detection (the latter done with assistance from experts in the field).
Special skills/training required: Willingness to learn, attention to detail, good skills troubleshooting with computers. There will be an opportunity to provide outreach to local tribal community members located in Sequim Bay, WA. Some interest in robotics and familiarity of troubleshooting electronics is a plus. Some microscopy experience is desirable but not essential (can be taught). This position can be 12 mo or less.
Expected outcomes: Development of an early warning system for Dinophysis detection that will be transitioned for use by the State Department of Health partners. The student will learn to work with a team and will be connected with a high-power group of national experts in harmful algal blooms. There will be exposure to molecular biology, microscopy, modeling and other methods used in the Trainer lab.
Point of contact (Mentor): Vera, Trainer
Organization: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Program office: Nwfsc
Mailing address: 2725 Montlake Blvd. East
Seattle, WA 98112
Phone number: 206-860-6788
Fax number: 206-860-3335
Co-Mentor name: ---
Co-Mentor email: ---
Co-Mentor gency or organization: ---
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