Spend your summer doing exciting, cutting-edge research—no experience needed! Be part of a research center that studies life below the oceans, in the sediments and rocks of the subseafloor. This ecosystem is largely unexplored, and we need students to help grow, isolate, describe, and ultimately name the microorganisms referred to as ‘intraterrestrials.’ C4 students will work in teams in laboratories at USC, learning state-of-the-art techniques ranging from DNA sequencing to microscopy and sterile techniques to analytical chemistry.
C4 students will be part of a greater research community, the Center for Dark Energy Biopshere Investigations (C-DEBI). C-DEBI seeks to better understand the ecology of the subseafloor as the global ocean comprises the Earth’s largest biome, with microorganisms playing a dominant biogeochemical role.
In addition to conducting research, students will participate in a bioinformatics course and weekly professional development seminars devoted to succeeding in a 4-year institution and beyond.
Here’s what the 2017 C4 cohort did, check it out!
The research objective for the Community College Cultivation Cohort was to work on the characterization of a novel chemolithoautotrophic, iron-oxidizing, bacterial species: Thiomicrospira sp. SC-1. SC-1 was recently isolated from Catalina Island, CA and represents a genus and species that is relevant to seafloor and subseafloor environments. We followed the polyphasic description approach established by the Journal of International Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, which includes physiological, metabolic and phylogenetic description components. Through these research activities, students learned techniques spanning: i) preparation of growth media, ii) batch cultivation techniques, iii) epifluorescent microscopy, iv) cell quantification and v) bioinformatics. The C4 student cohort characterized physiological traits of microbial growth under different temperature, salinity and pH conditions. Physiological function of other Thiomicrospira species was tested and compared to SC-1. Genome characterization and phylogenetic placement of SC-1 were the main goals of the bioinformatics section.
What: Paid stipend, 9-week, residential, research internship at USC. Conduct research 40 hours/week in a microbiology/geochemistry lab (Please note: you will be working in teams on the same project)
Where: University of Southern California
When: June 11 – August 12, 2017
Who: Undergraduates from community colleges*
Stipend: $500/week, plus lodging & travel
*First generation college, women, and under-represented students encouraged to apply