Amelia “Mimi” Smith ’21 will spend this summer at one of the nation’s top marine science organizations, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. As a participant in WHOI’s prestigious summer student fellowship program, she will gain experience with a broad spectrum of ocean science research.
Smith is no stranger to WHOI; the biology major with a minor in economics has visited the institute many times during family vacations. Her interest in marine biology only increased this past fall when she spent a semester at Queensland University in Brisbane, Australia studying marine biology and terrestrial ecology. She says the abroad experience solidified her desire to return to Woods Hole to gain further experience as a researcher.
This summer, Smith will work on a research project selected in collaboration with her sponsor, Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser Ph.D., a scientist at WHOI who specializes in benthic invertebrates.
“I will be working on research pertaining to benthic invertebrates and larval dispersal patterns, as well as potentially redistributing juvenile coral fragments in the area,” Smith says.
During the experience, she will also participate in talks, seminars and a day-long, ocean sampling cruise onboard the R/V Tioga research vessel, focusing on data collection and sampling methods with advanced oceanographic technology and instruments.
Smith, who is a biology teaching fellow at HWS, hopes to work for the Environmental Protection Agency after graduating, preferably in an area involved with environmental policy. She also intends to pursue a master’s degree in environmental policy or marine biology. “My dream role would be to serve as the head of a non-profit conservation organization, spearheading outreach and educational programs within a community,” she says.
Last summer, Smith was an environmental engineering intern at the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services in her hometown of Rochester, N.Y. She also has worked as a research assistant at HWS’ Finger Lakes Institute.
On campus, Smith is a member of the Laurel Society and is an O’Laughlin Ambassador in the Admissions Office, a Centennial Scholar through the HWS Leads Program, and a member and tour manager for Chorale and Cantori.