Research oceanographer Lisa Robbins and research geologist Jennifer Miselis welcomed recent high-school graduate Katie Krueger to the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a spring/summer 2013 intern.
Award-Winning Student Intern Experiences Life at the USGS
by Lisa Robbins and Jennifer Miselis
Research oceanographer Lisa Robbins and research geologist Jennifer Miselis welcomed recent high-school graduate Katie Krueger to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a spring/summer 2013 intern. Krueger graduated in June 2013 from Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida, where the Athena Society in Tampa Bay honored her in 2012 with a Dr. Sylvia Richardson Young Women of Promise award. Krueger won the award because of her exceptional academic record (4.2 grade point average), more than 150 hours of community service, and her commitment to athletics on the Tampa Prep Volleyball team. Tampa Prep has a senior internship program for its students, and Krueger was excited to discover that she could complete the internship at the USGS since she plans to pursue a degree in geology at Virginia Tech. Krueger split time with Robbins and Miselis during the three weeks that she was at the center.
Krueger started her time at USGS St. Pete with Robbins, helping to clean, sieve, and analyze sediment samples that Robbins had collected for ocean-acidification studies during an August 2012 research cruise in the Arctic Ocean. Krueger picked out foraminifera—one-celled marine animals whose shells provide information about their age and the physical and chemical environment in which they formed—from four different dredge samples and got to look at some of the forams using the scanning electron microscope. She also helped Robbins analyze data from the research cruise, and she took photographs of Robbins’ Arctic coral and manganese samples.
According to Robbins, who is also a member of the Athena Society, “It is easy to see how Katie won the ‘Young Women of Promise’ award. She has a bright future ahead of her because she is so adaptable and wanted to learn everything possible about what a career in geology could offer.”
Miselis introduced Krueger to everyday skills essential for working in the field of coastal geology. Krueger learned how to use ArcMap software to make a map, as well as how to use OpendTect software to digitize seismic data that provide images of sediment layers beneath the seafloor. Kyle Kelso, a member of Miselis’ team, then taught Krueger how to analyze core samples collected from the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana. Later that week, Krueger got to go out on the water in Tampa Bay to help Miselis and her team test a new personal-watercraft system outfitted to measure water depth in shallow water.
Miselis was highly impressed with Krueger and her willingness to tackle new subjects. “Katie seemed equally as excited about reading about a new concept in a textbook as she was about putting that new skill into practice at a computer, in the lab, or out on the water,” she said. “That eagerness to learn will serve her well in geology or any other science field.”
What did Krueger have to say about her time at USGS St. Pete? “This has been so much fun, I think I have the best senior internship at my school!”