University of California, Santa Cruz
I am currently mentoring two UCSC undergraduates on independent senior projects. Sean is working on light trapping samples collected around Catalina Island, CA, looking at invertebrate functional diversity at different sites. Ryan is continuing work begun over the summer on moray eel coloration. I have also worked with 10 undergraduates on plankton sorting and larval fish identification.
University of Southern California Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) & Zinsmeyer Fellowship
In the summer of 2019, I mentored two women at the University of Southern California's Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies (WIES) on Catalina Island, CA. These women were interns in USC's REU program and Zinsmeyer Fellowship and completely dramatically different projects over the course of the summer. Ryan studied moray eel coloration in relation to their environment, work which is in the process of being published with her as an author. Elena worked on octopus paralarvae, looking at age, abundance, and species diversity at three environmentally diverse coves around Catalina Island. This work is ongoing, and we hope to write up results in the spring of 2020. Over the course of the summer, the students gained experience in laboratory and field skills, scientific writing, presenting, computer programming, and statistics.
More Active Girls in Computing (MAGIC)
Computer science has historically been male-dominated. MAGIC aims to combat this gender imbalance by targeting younger women, especially those in grades 6-9, and inspiring them to pursue STEM-related careers. MAGIC is unique in that the young women design and build their own computer science project, thus empowering them and increasing confidence in their own abilities to complete daunting projects. In the spring of 2017, I mentored a 7th grader from Austin, TX. I assisted her in building an iOS application focused on helping high school students choose a college major. In 2018, I mentored a 7th grader from Milpitas, CA. We completed three projects, including an animation project using Blender; a game about food webs in Scratch; and a prototype tool to help people with language disabilities communicate, also using Scratch.
Cultivamos Excelencia ("cultivating excellence") is a program through UC Santa Cruz and San Jose City College. Through mentorship, advising, research opportunities, and classes, CE attempts to encourage and retain Hispanic undergraduates in science. As a graduate student mentor, my job is to support 2-4 students and help them focus their research interests. I also introduce them to faculty and graduate students by including them in my own lab meetings, inviting them to UCSC, and helping them learn scientific skills. I have mentored three students through this program and it has been an amazing experience!