Alumni Profile: Jackie Rolleri '06

Jackie Rolleri

Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Portland, ME

January 2006


During the month     of January I interned with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in     Portland, Maine.  The mission of     GMRI, a neutral, strategic marine research and education institution, is to     convene public interest to resolve aquatic resource conflicts, research the     Gulf of Maine watershed, and educate Maine residents and visitors about Maine’s     fresh and saltwater resources.  There are currently several lines of research being explored by GMRI     relating to herring acoustics, shrimp fishery, lobster diet, fishing gear, and     cod-tagging. 


The     scientist I worked under, Jonathon Grabowski Ph.D., is a research scientist and     benthic ecologist.  I worked     side-by-side with his research technician Julien Gaudette, sorting through core     samples taken this past summer from Casco Bay.  The samples were collected as part of the Assessment of     nursery habitat within Casco Bay project.  The goal of this study is to investigate sea grass and mud bottom     habitats in Casco Bay using cores, larval traps, and trawls.  The data will be used for an     ecological/economic evaluation of habitats for fisheries productivity.  About 20 million tons of crude oil are     imported into Casco Bay annually, so this information could prove very useful     incase of an oil spill.


Although the task     of transferring samples and sorting organisms was a bit tedious and boring, I     think the overall experience was beneficial.  I confirmed the thought that I do not want to become a     research biologist and prefer field over lab work.  Both Jonathon and Julien were fun to work with and are     definitely good connections to have for the future.  I do not plan on going to graduate school right after Colby,     but if I decide to apply to schools later on, I think the internship will help     add to my credentials.

  Since GMRI is a     new and upcoming organization, they are trying to establish a summer internship     program.  I was only the second     intern they have had but they would like to eventually have more funding for     interns.  I told Jonathon Grabowski     to contact career services at Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin to setup an     e-recruiting profile, but if any other students are interested in a summer     internship, they should contact GMRI.  The facilities are beautiful and located directly on the waterfront in     the Oldport section of Portland.  All of the staff and faculty I met while interning were very friendly     and dedicated to the missions set forth by GMRI.