Meet the SURFOs: Samantha Vaverka

Samantha Vaverka, a rising senior in Biology at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, works as an intern within the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Oceanography (SURFO) program at the University of Rhode Island. She is spending ten weeks in the laboratory of Dr. Bethany Jenkins where she is investigating the genetic composition of the Narragansett Bay phytoplankton community and testing for the presence of the natural toxin domoic acid. Samantha is seen here (left) concentrating Narragansett Bay phytoplankton aboard the R/V Hope Hudner, with the help of URI students Riley Kirk and Erin Tully. The SURFO program is funded by the National Science Foundation as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in a STEM major.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Oceanography (SURFO) is a 10-week program designed primarily for science, math and engineering students who will have just completed their junior year of undergraduate coursework.

The program can include laboratory work, data analysis, instrumentation development, dynamical modeling, even a research cruise.

Funding for this REU site is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences located in Arlington, VA, under Grant Number OCE-1757572.