Brittany Palm, '09
"I spent my high school years focusing on the core sciences and looking for a university that offered hands-on experience near the ocean. UNE was my first choice because once I visited the Marine Science Center (MSC), I was hooked. I met the professors, walked through the labs, and saw the water through the windows. At that moment, I planted my feet and knew it was the place for me.
"My favorite aspect about the curriculum for Marine Biology majors is the diversity of the education. So far I have taken courses in oceanography, genetics, physiology, physics, biochemistry, environmental studies, coral reef ecology, fisheries biology, organic chemistry, and organismal biology. Through the Marine Biology Department, I have even traveled from the Arctic Circle to the Caribbean.
"This past year, I was one of two students accepted for a summer internship in northern Norway... I gained invaluable experience by learning how to operate large fishing vessels complete with hydraulic wenches and cranes, monitor the health of the fish stocks, and work through language barriers... When I returned from Norway to begin my junior year, I began independent research with Professor James Sulikowski. I have worked on numerous projects including preparing and aging elasmobranch vertebra; full necropsy of sharks and skates; cleaning and preparing shark jaws; analyzing shark stomach content; seining and trawling in the Saco River; collecting samples at local shark tournaments; maintaining live skates in MSC tanks; and working on the UNE research boats. With the help of Professor Sulikowski, I was able to start to my own research project looking into the variability of gestation rates and viability of little skate, Leucoraja erinacea, egg cases. I recently presented my preliminary data at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and have received funding to continue my project over the summer."