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Study Abroad in Australia

By Mary Thurber, currently a senior at Stanford (class of 2010)

I spent this past fall studying abroad in Australia, traveling the East coast of the country with an emphasis on coastal studies. One focus of our program was coastal forest ecosystems, and I enjoyed participating in transects and field projects in the rainforest of Lamington National Park, and the mangroves of the Daintree Rainforest. It was an incredible opportunity to work in and learn about the threatened Australian ecosystems. One of my favorite parts of the course was developing my own targeted research project: an analysis of the behavior of two species of nectarivorous birds – the Lewin’s Honeyeater and the Eastern Spinebill– in the rainforest. I learned that this type of research is critical in order to gain a better understanding of the intricate interactions between species, and that this knowledge can be applied to management of the rainforest in Australia. During a later part of the program in Australia, we spent two weeks at the research station on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef. On Heron Island, we learned about the major threats to coral reef ecosystems – in particular, global warming and ocean acidification. We participated in several field projects and were exposed to a range of marine topics, such as identification of fish and phytoplankton, quantification of corals’ zooxanthellae, and assessment of invertebrate biodiversity on the reef. Another focus of our studies was coastal resource management, and I was thrilled to finally learn how to protect and better manage the environment in order to sustain its invaluable wildlife and resources. The stimulating courses I took in Australia broadened my horizons and reinforced my concerns about the vulnerability of our planet, and helped me realize that I want to help maintain the Earth’s natural environment.

Summer Research at Stanford

By Dr. B

During the summer of ‘09, eight veterinary students from seven different veterinary schools participated in a NIH T35 funded program as research interns. This program, hosted by the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM), provides 1st and 2nd year veterinary students a stipend and a chance to experience biomedical research in various laboratories throughout Stanford School of Medicine. Through the years, this summer research program, now in its 7th year, has seen a total of 43 students from 14 veterinary schools perform research projects in a total of 18 medical school laboratories. While at Stanford, in addition to working in their designated laboratory, the students attend a series of “career development luncheons” where they learn about the background of the faculty and staff veterinarians working in different areas in the DCM. Students also participate in weekly journal clubs, and attend seminars and workshops on topics including: experimental pathology, experimental design, graduate school preparation, mouse handling, rat dissection, and comparative medicine. The summer culminates with a research seminar in which each student presents on their individual summer projects. Some students will go on to present posters at national meetings on their summer projects and a few students have returned during their 4th year in veterinary school to

Issue 2, August 2009

PreVet Club Newsletter

Page 9

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