Calvin Munson – Raimondi-Carr Lab

Positions: 1 – 2 interns

Tentative dates: June – September 2022 (Flexible)

Project Location: Long Marine Lab on the UCSC Coastal Science Campus

Project Background: Forests of giant kelp have declined dramatically along central California in response to the 2014-2016 marine heatwave. In many areas, forests have transitioned to “sea urchin barrens” devoid of algae and cover with purple sea urchins. There is great interest in understanding the process of forest recovery, in part to inform possible restoration efforts. We are using kelp cultivation techniques and mesocosms (cattle troughs) at CBB and Long Marine Lab to experimentally evaluate the role of kelp spore density and sea urchin grazing on the survival of young kelp sporophytes. Results of these studies will allow researchers and managers to better understand the levels of kelp recruitment and sea urchin densities for kelp recovery.

Intern duties: The intern(s) will engage and assist in all elements of these experiments, including the design, implementation (kelp culturing in CBB, setup of the experiments, observation and data collection) and analysis. The objective is to mentor the student through all aspects of an experimental research project. Fortunately, these mesocosm experiments are short (2 weeks), which makes this feasible and not subject to weather conditions.

Intern qualifications: Ability to commit to the day-long duration of observations and working most days of each week. We assume that CAMINO students are not scientific diving certified, but that would be added value to the project and the student’s experience if they were.

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?
That would be nice, but not necessary.