Jellies, Octopuses, and Sea Stars, Oh My!

Marine Biology

Dates: July 20-31, 2015

Cost: $1,500

Over 95% of species on the earth are invertebrates, with a vast majority of them living in marine
habitats. In this module, we will discover how these diverse groups of animals are adapted to survive and thrive in our oceans, often under harsh environmental conditions, over geologic time. From the simplest forms such as sponges and jellies, to much more complex animals, like octopuses, we will explore how these creatures interact with each other and their soundings.

Part of this module (6 days) will held remotely at the UAF Seward Campus to immerse students in hands-on marine experiences. Students will learn skills needed to pursue careers in marine science, such as observation and experimentation. We will explore different marine habitats using sea ice coring, tide pooling, plankton tows, and seafloor sediment grabs. We will also be dissecting invertebrates, including squid and sea stars. Students will also have a chance to use cutting edge technology such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and scanning electron microscopy.

Students will meet a number of marine scientists, visit UAF science laboratories and a marine invertebrate hatchery, and participate in an overnight NOCTURNE program at the Alaska Sealife Center.

The higher cost of this module reflects additional costs of food, lodging, and boat charters associated with the experience.

NOTE: Participation during the July 25th weekend is part of this module, as is travel by van to the Seward Peninsula.


Charlotte Regula-Whitefield

Charlotte Regula-Whitefield is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her career as a marine ecologist has been influenced by diverse academic and research experiences. She has worked in habitats as varied as the marsh flats of Rhode Island, the coral reefs of Bermuda, and the rocky intertidal shores of Maine. Charlotte’s research interests include marine invertebrate feeding ecology and reproductive biology. During her undergraduate education, Charlotte researched Atlantic species of jellyfish and had the opportunity to study abroad in Bermuda. She received a B.S. in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) in 2008. She continued her education at the University of New England (Biddeford, ME) and received a M.S. in Marine Science in 2010. Her M.S. thesis focused on the physiology of hermit crabs. Charlotte’s dissertation for her Ph.D. involves working with Alaskan sea cucumber fishermen and aquaculture facilities to investigate why commercial stocks in Alaska are declining. Charlotte’s education has increased her fascination with the complexities of marine ecosystems, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with her students. In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys SCUBA diving, gardening, playing with her dogs and cats, and traveling through Europe.

Leah Sloan

I have always loved biology because it helps explain so many of the beautiful and amazing things we see in nature. I am a doctoral student in marine biology at University of Alaska Fairbanks. My research involves marine ecology, parasitology, larval biology, and fisheries sustainability. I am studying Alaskan king crabs, specifically a parasite that can control their behavior, turning them into “zombie crabs”. I have very broad research interests in aquatic and terrestrial biology. I obtained my Master’s Degree in Biology from Humboldt State University studying turtle movement patterns. I love to teach and make science fun and interesting. I have taught laboratory classes in Invertebrate Zoology, Plant Taxonomy, Botany, General Zoology, and General Biology. I enjoy numerous outdoor activities, from backpacking to tide pooling, and from skiing to berry picking. I also love baking pies and cookies and then enjoying them with nice cup of tea and a good book!

Kyle Dilliplaine

Kyle Dilliplaine is currently pursuing his master’s degree in marine biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kyle studies the effects of crude oil on the marine flora and fauna which occupy the pore space in sea ice. As an Arctic researcher, he has had the opportunity to sample coastal Arctic environments in Alaska and Norway. Kyle received his B.S. in marine biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. While in North Carolina, he worked in the Benthic Ecology Lab studying intertidal oyster reefs and the associated epibenthic invertebrates and infauna. When not in the field or laboratory, Kyle can be found playing guitar or backpacking around Alaska.

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