Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Lucia Roussa! Lucia has been selected as one of 14 interns through the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Sciences (CICOES). For over 40 years CICOES has fostered research collaboration between UW and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CICOES’s research is a leader in investigations of climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting. Interns are matched with a research project within one of CICOES nine research themes and work with a CICOES, NOAA, or University of Washington scientist. Lucia has been paired with mentor Dr. Julie Keister, a professor of biological oceanography at the University of Washington. She will work on the project: "Assessing the impact of jellyfish on Puget Sound: determining jellyfish biomass from the air." She will help quantify the size of jellyfish aggregations from aerial photos using computerized image-processing procedures. The goal is to determine seasonal and annual changes in aggregations, and to help the Washington State Department of Ecology determine whether the aerial surveys can provide a “jellyfish index” as an annual indicator of the health of Puget Sound.
Lucia is finishing a dual Environmental Science and Biology major at Eastern Washington University. In 2020, she was selected for the TLES Scholars Award. She works with Dr. Camille McNeely on her project investigating the relationship between freshwater algal abundance and diversity through analyzing the eutrophication of wetlands in Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. This week Lucia presented her work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Lucia's research interests include phycology, marine microbiology, and conservation science in coastal marine ecosystems. In future projects, she would like to explore the various roles that algae play in our world and potential solutions to environmental problems related to algae. Her goal is to obtain a PhD and be a role model for those who feel like STEM fields are limited to those with economic privilege, or those who feel insecure entering a male-dominated field.
Due to the pandemic, Lucia will be completing her internship remotely, with the hope of an end of summer in person conference for the final week of the program if it is safe to do so. In addition to research, Lucia will have the opportunity to attend weekly seminars from special guests on climate change, research in the field, and research skills. Similar to our EWU McNair Summer Research Internship, at the end of her internship, Lucia will create research poster displaying the results of the work and create a three-minute video summarizing the experience. Be sure to check back on the EWU McNair website in the fall to find a link to the video!
The EWU McNair staff are so excited for Lucia.