Climate Change in Sitka

Arley Muth – Kroeker Lab

Positions: 1 intern, possibly 2 if someone is AAUS scientific dive certified

Tentative dates: Session 1 (possible session 2 as well) – summer 2021

Project Location: Sitka, Alaska

Project Background: The Kroeker lab investigates the emergent effects of global climate change in coastal marine ecosystems from Baja California to southeast Alaska. During the summer of 2021 we will explore kelp system primary producers and grazers in Sitka, Alaska, using a laboratory experiment with species collected in Sitka Sound. It is predicted that ocean water temperatures will increase and pH levels will decrease with global change and systems in higher latitudes such as Sitka Sound will see even more change. We will use pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) as the grazer and a mix of algal species (primarily kelp) to explore the interactive effects of climate change and seasonality on seaweed nutritional quality and abalone growth and persistence.

Intern duties: As an intern with this project, the student would assist with a large-scale mesocosm experiment manipulating temperature and pH to explore effects of these environmental factors on seaweed nutritional quality and subsequent abalone grazing and growth. We are looking for a highly motivated student that is willing to work hard in lab and field conditions, the ability to work independently, is comfortable sharing housing with other UCSC students, and is excited to do science in beautiful Sitka! The intern would be trained in maintaining the mesocosm set-up, processing seaweed to feed to abalone, collecting seaweed samples for further chemical analysis, collecting water samples for carbonate chemistry analysis and also measuring growth and response of the abalone within the experimental conditions.

If the student is an AAUS SCUBA diver, we could also incorporate weekly dives into their duties, but this isn’t required. In addition to hands-on work, we will be analyzing data collected throughout the experiment. Statistical knowledge and experience in R would be useful.

Intern qualifications:
– scientific diver (not required)
– experience with data analysis
– ability to work outside in inclement weather

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?
Attending weekly lab meetings, remote meetings with the mentor and getting familiar with the project during the spring quarter would be ideal.

UC Santa Cruz Land Acknowledgement

“The land from which we base our work is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”