NEHR Student Summer Internship Program
The Center is able to offer undergraduate summer research experiences to TCU students outside the SKC system. The goal of this program is to begin to increase the capacity of TCUs for tribal environmental health research. This can be especially important for TCU who are not in states served by NIH’s IDeA’s Network for Biomedical Excellence (INBRE):
Approximately one-third of all TCUs are in non-INBRE beneficiary states.
In 2015, The Center piloted a project to offer 2, 10-week internships to TCU science students that would include extensive time in SKC’s Environmental Chemistry Lab (SKC-ECL), one of the student research labs that supports SKC’s BS (Life Sciences) Program. In this program, Students become trained in a number of different types of analyses on many of the lab’s sophisticated analytical instrumentation. This project was funded by EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).
This particular project involved two students from Bay Mills Community College (BMCC), a 2-year TCU in northern Michigan, Amanda Shea and Alisha Hamelin, as well as one faculty member, Dr. Diana Cryderman. The project consisted of 5 weeks at BMCC interviewing elder and obtaining samples that represented the fish traditionally consumed by their home community. Students and their faculty mentor then spent 5 weeks at SKC being trained in the use of the SKC-ECL instrumentation and analyzing their samples themselves. The analyses included mercury, omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. This represented a research opportunity not available to them at their home institution. Below is an article that featured their experience in their BMCC Newsletter:
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The Center has been able to offer this opportunity again in the summer of 2017 with a student from Keweenaw Bay Community College and two students again from Bay Mills Community College. More information on those projects will be posted soon.