Meet Jamie K.

Not only did the SBB program give me hands on field and lab experience, but I was able to network with researchers and scientists on the national level. By putting my name out into the field of marine biology, SBB has helped me open a lot of new doors for potential graduate schools, internships, and job opportunities for the future.



Semester by the Bay 2016

We first met Jamie when she came to Homer and our Kachemak Bay Campus full of energy and excited to participate in the Semester by the Bay 2016 cohort. In addition to Marine Biology coursework, Jamie also applied to participate in a 3 credit biology internship and secured a position with Lee Post, AKA The Boneman. Jamie's job as an articulation intern was to clean and prepare marine mammal bones collected from strandings for use in mounted skeletal displays and classroom education. During her internship, she took on a key role in the articulation of a neonate orca skeleton, fondly named, Irniaq. You can listen to a story about the articulation project on KBBI, Homer's National Public Radio Station, to hear Jamie describe her experience!
Students pose with instructor preparing to excavate large jaw bones
Articulated whale skelton hangs on display

Welcome Back!

Jamie K. has returned to Homer for the summer! Before heading back to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to finish her Senior Year, Jamie will spend the summer in Homer participating in a 10-week, full-time paid internship with NOAA as a Hollings Scholar. As a freshman Jamie applied to be a Hollings Scholar at the encouragement of her UNCW advisor. She was one of 120 applicants chosen to be awarded nationwide. This summer, Jamie will be looking at linkages between whales and ecosystem conditions, with part of the project being to use oceanographic data to tell the story about warming, forage fish, and whales. If you see her around, make sure to congratulate her on this prestigious award!

I’m thrilled to be back in Homer for the summer and I’m excited to be working in the balance of oceanographic (physical) data and whale (biological) data. I’m quite interested in biology but I’ll be piecing together the interactions of how physical environmental drivers impact whale distribution and movement. I’m excited to be learning how to use programming and modelling software to represent how the physical and biological variables interact over time. I will also be collecting oceanographic data in Kachemak Bay by participating in monthly oceanographic cruises which involves learning how to use (very expensive) sampling equipment.


4 students with purple exam gloves give a thumbs up
Students wearing hats post on the deck of a boat

What’s Next?

Jamie's adventure doesn't stop here. She has been invited to join her SBB internship host, Lee Post, on another killer whale articulation project, this time in California! The pair will be articulating an Alaskan transient whale for the Noyo Center for Marine Science in Fort Bragg, California. In addition to the articulation itself, on this project Jamie will be assisting in the development of a bone atlas before focusing on a trip to Silver Spring, Maryland to present findings from her NOAA internship. Of course there's no time to rest! In the Fall Jamie will head back to UNCW to finish her senior year and defend her honors thesis. With a B.S. in Marine Biology in hand, this tireless student plans to spend another summer gaining field experience before beginning graduate school along the west coast in the fall of 2018.