Students on the Marine Institute Bursary programme showcased their work during their eight to twelve week placements with the Marine Institute at the first Bursar Poster presentation day, held at the Institute in Oranmore, Galway (21st July 2016).
The 28 students are working across a variety of areas including collecting data for salmon assessments, fish sampling in the ports, shellfish assessments in the labs, maritime economics, ocean literacy in education, application development, library archiving, and oceanographic sciences.
"This year the bursars had the opportunity to design and display posters based on the experience they gained throughout their work experience" explained Ms Helen McCormick, Bursar Programme coordinator and Senior Laboratory Analyst, Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services, at the Marine Institute. "This is the first year we have decided to use posters as a means of communicating their work and it allowed the students to discuss their work with their peers, Marine Institute staff and the judging panel in a relaxed and enjoyable environment" she added.
"The students used novel and innovative ideas to express their work, including touch screens, videos, water and light demonstrations, otolith samples and the life cycle of Salmon".
Eight awards were made with first place in the individual presentations going to Nicole Rowe (Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology), working in the Fish Health Unit in Oranmore. Nicole's work placement was looking at the effectiveness of DNA gyrase at identifying the Pseudomonas and Vibrio bacteria species in different fish species.
Second place was awarded to John Phelan (Marine Science, NUI Galway), working in Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services in Oranmore for his poster presentation about his work studying the dispersal of scallop larvae in the Irish Sea as part of his bursar placement.
In the group presentations, Áine-lisa Shannon (Marine Science, NUI Galway) and Mingjie Shao (Software Development, Carlow IT) were awarded first prize for their collaboration between the Library and Application Development department.
The duo is working on creating a digital library exhibition about the life of Commander Bill King whereby they are archiving his historical documents to create an interactive timeline of his life.
Second place went to Aidan Long (Marine Science, NUI Galway) and Kendal Hunter (Marine Science, University of Highlands and Islands) for their work on the sea lice monitoring programme within the aquaculture unit based in Oranmore.
Special commendations went to Roisin Dobey (Bachelor of Education, Mary Immaculate College), communications office, for her use of novel elements while speaking about how the Marine Institute promotes Ocean Literacy through the Explorers Education Programme Teacher Training Workshop, run by the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria; Declan Farrell (Software Engineering, Athlone IT), for his work on oceanographic profiling instrument used for winch development iCAS (Instrumentation Control Acquisition System); and Meghan Ali Maguire (Earth Science, University College Cork) for her poster on remote sensing for a better understanding of light attenuation in Irish waters.
Judging the event Mr. Joe Silke spoke about the high quality of the posters and professionalism of the bursars work during their placements and the confidence Ireland can have in the future of the marine industry. "It's encouraging to see that we have another new cohort of highly motivated and engaged marine scientists coming through the third level system".
The Marine Institute summer bursar programme has been ongoing since the 1960s and is a highly sought after work experience programme in the marine science sector and continues to offer a promising gateway into the expanding areas of marine science and research in Ireland.
The programme is aimed at undergraduates who have completed two years' study in a relevant discipline and is advertised on www.marine.ie in February each year.
For more images of the poster presentations please click here