Scholars update: Ian Heller (2010)

Summer Scholar at CERF2010 Summer Scholar Ian Heller presented a poster earlier this month at the Biennial meeting of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation in Daytona Beach, FL.

Ian was co-author with Chelsea Woodworth (Clemson University, a US Environmental Protection Agency intern in 2011), Tedd Dewitt and David Young (EPA scientists who were Ian’s mentors during his Summer Scholars assignment).

The poster, “Nekton Species Distribution Within and Among Four Oregon Estuaries,” presented a first look at field data collected as part of a large project to measure how different different estuarine wetland habitats contribute to the production of Dungeness crabs and fishes. Ian helped collect and analyze the data as an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar in 2010 and returned to the project as an EPA intern this summer. In the process, he learned different hypotheses about how habitat might affect the distribution of crabs and fishes, trawled  for nekton, and synthesized the data into the results presented in the poster.

At the CERF meeting, Ian had a chance to present the research and field questions from scientists and students. “I was able to see the scientific method to the end, and it was satisfying to see a product come out of my summer work,” he wrote.

Besides flying to exotic places to talk about crabs, Ian is back at Vassar College working on his senior thesis on sea anemone development and fretting about life post-graduation. He hopes to spend the next year assisting with biological research and applying to graduate schools. Perhaps he’ll once again find himself on the Oregon Coast!