Blending Communications Media and Marine Biology at Sea

Posted on 10/2/2018 2:27:49 PM

An IUP student will spend a week aboard a research vessel in the Bering Sea and North Pacific as part of the Science Technology Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS) Program, which gives college students hands-on learning experiences in STEM.

Katie Campbell, Comm Media major, will document her journey on with STEMSEASKatie Campbell, a communications media major from Bellwood, departed for Alaska on Tuesday, October 2, and will board the RV Sikuliaq, a 261-foot research vessel operated by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, on which she will learn with other students in the STEMSEAS and UAF Biomedical Learning and Student Training programs. She will board the vessel in Nome, Alaska, and make the week-long journey to Seward. During the trip the students will be exposed to a wide range of cutting-edge methods aimed at research in oceanography, marine geology, and marine biology.

Campbell, who plans to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking, said she hopes to use the trip to document some of the work done on the ship with video and photography.

“I’m excited to see how I can combine my field of communications media with geoscience,” she said. “The environment is really important to me, so I’m excited to combine my two passions.”

To document her trip, Campbell will be updating her Instagram account periodically with photos and videos. You can follow her at @kcampbell6996.

The STEMSEAS project is a grant-funded program that allows undergraduate students opportunities to learn from scientists who are actively involved in oceanography, marine biology, and geoscience research.

STEMSEAS strives to bring students to sea for exposure to geoscience research and careers, in hopes of helping them to imagine a future in the field.

IUP faculty member Jon Lewis (geoscience), along with Columbia University’s Sharon Cooper, helped create the program and secured its funding through the United States National Science Foundation.

Campbell and the other STEMSEAS students on the trip were selected through an application process. In the first year of the program STEMSEAS received nearly 875 applications.