Jude Apple ~ Entrepreneurial Ecologist

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Year Round Opportunity

"This collaboration is building a platform for engaging a wide range of students."
Gathering some existing but unconnected parts – funding, students and faculty, a research vessel and four willing institutions – Dr. Jude Apple and his co-conspirator Dr. Jan Newton, Principal Oceanographer and Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Information Systems Department at the University of Washington (UW), have created an ongoing and productive collaboration. Both of them were interested in finding ways to get Native American students involved in oceanography. Jan has some ongoing funding from the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Predication (CMOP), which is dedicated to promoting science among Native communities. She also has an ongoing monitoring project based out of Friday Harbor Marine Lab that involves her UW students doing transects throughout San Juan Islands, looking at all aspects of the pelagic ecosystem – birds, mammals, oceanography. Jude had connections at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) and students and interns at Shannon Point. "It seemed like a great opportunity to bring more students in to experience these cruises," said Jude.

Teaching marine science
Faculty and students from NWIC came out on cruises, while Jan's students from UW taught them, creating a peer-to-peer learning situation. Several cruises included faculty from NWIC who came with the intent of developing chemistry and biology labs that could be based on the research cruises. The dataset generated by these transects has become year-round, through Jude's research initiative and with the addition of new teams of students to take measurements, necessary to ask the more pertinent questions about the seasonality of the pelagic ecosystem in the San Juan Islands. Jude's current MIMSUP student is now using these data to investigate the effect of upwelling and climatic factors on waters of the Central Salish Sea and San Juan Islands.

Jan Newton provides funding through CMOP to cover cruise time while Jude engages students from several other programs already in place to bring underrepresented groups into marine science. "With these many different groups we are able to not just provide this educational opportunity but have a year-round dataset that is really generated by students," says Jude.