Michelle Greenfield, 2018, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

This summer, I worked as a veterinary and research intern studying Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. My responsibilities included preparing medications, creating excel spreadsheets for research projects, and processing samples before sending them to external labs for further analysis. In addition, I ran all of the in-house blood work. I also observed and assisted with a few surgeries and even a necropsy of a stranded wild dolphin. As I look back on my experience, I leave with a greater understanding of how connected the different aspects of the marine mammal field are to one another. Veterinarians rely on trainers to build relationships with their animals in order to get samples. Trainers rely on the veterinarians to keep the animals healthy. Researchers rely on both teams to help bring new insights about these animals to the scientific community. Coming into this internship, I was uncertain whether I wanted to pursue a research career in marine science or attend veterinary school. Now I realize there are ways to incorporate both into a career.