2019 Summer Interns


2019 Climate and Life Interns

Interns spend four weeks at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory working individually and in small groups on research projects designed and led by our scientists. By the end of their internship, students understand what a career in science involves. They also gain critical science skills, including how to read research papers, perform measurements, collect and present data, and report on their research.

We were pleased to host the following nine students in the summer of 2019.

Project: Assessing the Reliability of Climate Changes in Antarctica Mentor: Jerry McManus

The Greenland ice sheet is currently wasting away, melting from the top and losing ice by calving icebergs around its periphery. This ongoing delivery of meltwater to the North Atlantic is likely to lead to oceanographic, climatic and biological consequences that are currently poorly understood. The last ice age was punctuated by repeated abrupt climate changes that involved dramatic cooling of the northern hemisphere at times when much of the southern hemisphere was warming. These climate shifts occurred at times of episodes of catastrophic iceberg discharge from the vast Laurentide ice sheet that covered much of North America, and the melting icebergs may have reduced northward heat transport by weakening the large-scale Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Students processed core samples, identified and quantified ice-rafted debris, determined the relative abundance of polar foraminifera species, and selected and prepared specimens for isotopic analysis.


Arun Raman — West Windsor Plainsboro High School North
Michael DiJoseph — The Wilberforce School
Reaan Sarker — Monroe Woodbury High School
Joshua Cohen — SAR High School

Project: Hudson River Marshes as Sinks for Atmospheric Carbon and Other Pollutants | Mentor: Jon Nichols

Hudson River marshes provide well-known, valuable ecosystem functions including fish nursery habitat and storm wave attenuation. Critical services that are less well known are the removal and storage of atmospheric carbon and contaminants. This project seeks to quantify the rate at which marshes in the Hudson River sequester carbon from the atmosphere and pollutants from human activities. Further, we want to understand the relationship between past warming, cooling, droughts, forest change, invasive species, eutrophication and other human impacts on the ability of marshes to sequester C and pollutants. Understanding these relationships will aid us in planning for the future of marshes along the Hudson and other places threatened by sea level rises. Students assisted in the measurement of carbon accumulation rate, heavy metals, and microplastics in the marsh sediments to help define their present value for the improvement of water quality.


Alexander Raftopoulos — The Browning School
Imri Haggin — United World College Maastricht
Isabella O’Neil — Nyack High School
Sarah Phillipsgood — Ward Melville Senior High School
Yushuo Ding — Orange Lutheran High School