Junior biology major Tyler Penrod and senior fisheries and wildlife management major Ben Vasquez are both recipients of a Michigan Sea Grant Environmental Internship. Penrod also was awarded an NMU Honors Summer Research Fellowship.
Receiving these competitive awards will allow Penrod to pursue his passion for coastal ecological restoration and the promotion of ecosystem resiliency along the Lake Superior coastline.
Penrod's project will consist of recording video and capturing photographs using a drone along Lakeshore Boulevard, as well as cataloging species in the project area, collecting water samples, and organizing volunteer opportunities for the community to plant native plants.
“The goal of my research is to collect baseline data before changes are made to Lakeshore Boulevard and create a ‘coastal erosion drone survey protocol,'” said Penrod. “The drone protocol is being designed to offer monitoring consistency for future Great Lakes and marine resiliency projects alike.”
Vasquez's internship will involve summer research related to Pacific salmon and lake trout in Lake Superior.
The idea for his project was formed by my primary interest in non-native fish ecology and previous work with professor Brandon Gerig. The fellowship will allow him to conduct his research in one of the lakes where his interest in fisheries began.
“I'm exploring resource overlap between Lake trout, Pacific salmonids, and Splake in Lake Superior,” Vasquez said. “This will provide novel insight on some of the introduced fish present in Lake Superior; furthermore, this study will be one of the first to evaluate Splake in this context.”
Both students will present their research at the Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in August.