Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beginning!

Hi everyone! My name is Kendall Young, I will be a senior this fall studying Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology (MEFB) at University of New Hampshire. I am so excited to be working as a Doyle fellow with NH Sea Grant on Healthy Coastal Ecosystems projects and to be mentored by the amazing Alyson Eberhardt: Coastal Ecosystems Specialist for NHSG and UNH Cooperative Extension. This fellowship will give me the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in experimental design, public communication and outreach, along with exposing me to many different fields that will only benefit me as I move into my final year at University of New Hampshire.
 I grew up in Northern Michigan on the shore of Lake Michigan. I was involved with maintaining a healthy freshwater ecosystem from a young age. Growing up, I would spend countless hours on the beach and I cannot remember a time I wasn’t fascinated by the organisms and the diversity of aquatic life. My family would visit the ocean often and that only expanded my curiosity of marine aquatic life. As I have gotten older and more involved in marine and freshwater biology I am devastated by how quickly ecosystems are declining.
I started my first week with NHSG working with coastal research volunteers on the Eel Monitoring Project. This project is assisting NH Fish and Game on tracking the abundance of American Eels into Oyster River. Alyson has an extensive knowledge of eels and has made me fall in love with them! So far I have recorded over 300 eels in only three days working on this project. 

Later in the week I worked alongside Alyson, Dr. Gregg Moore, Chris Peter and Dr. David Burdick on Plum Island with community volunteers and Hill View Montessori Public Charter School planting Beach grass (Ammophila brevilgulata) in areas of decreased populations. I am particularly excited for this project because when I was in elementary school, I was in the school groups being brought out into the field and educated about the importance of restoration and protection of the Sleeping Bear Dunes national Lakeshore.  Now, working on the dunes at Hampton Beach State Park and on Plum Island, I feel like I have an opportunity to significantly contribute to what this project is working towards. 

Alyson has presented me with an opportunity to be a part of many different projects this summer. Along with the Dune restoration and Eel monitoring, I look forward to spending time working with the Sagamore- Hampton Golf Club on Water quality monitoring, working with oyster restoration, and possibly some experience with fisheries and aquaculture.
I have been given an opportunity to conduct an experiment over the course of my internship to find a method that will increase the survival and growth of important plant species found in areas of the dunes. Check back for more details on this experiment as it is still under design!
I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the talented researchers at NH Sea Grant and UNH Corporative Extension. I hope to learn more about communicating with coastal communities and maintaining a healthy coastal habitat!
Check back for updates!

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