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Kira Krumhansl '06 with Ryan Jackson, a post-doctoral fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, aboard the Alvin

It's not uncommon for recent graduates to feel all at sea, but for Kira Krumhansl '06, of Amherst, NH, that's been a very good thing.

The biology major has had a series of marine and oceanographic experiences since earning her degree, all of which she hopes will help her in future graduate school study.

Following a semester "abroad" with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, Krumhansl was a summer fellow with WHOI after graduation. She assisted researchers investigating the timing of when barnacle larvae are released and when they settle, in order to understand how the species adapts to different environments. That led to an internship with a scientist from the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, a marine biology research and educational facility that operates as a branch of Stanford University's Department of Biological Sciences. The station is located in Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula of California's coast.

There, Krumhansl was involved in research on tuna and great white sharks, which she describes as being "about the same length as a pick-up truck." As part of the experience, Krumhansl participated in dives to tag the creatures.

After her experience with the station, Krumhansl was invited to participate in research on the Alvin, a U.S. Navy-owned Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) operated by WHOI as a national oceanographic facility. In December of 2006 and January of 2007, she was part of a team of researchers off the Pacific coast of Mexico on board the Alvin, and participated in dives.

Krumhansl was back on campus in Canton at the start of the spring 2007 semester, giving a presentation to biology students about the possibilities for majors following graduation. She also gave presentations about her experiences to high school and elementary school students in her hometown in New Hampshire.

She is back on dry land now, spending some time working on an organic farm in Santa Cruz, California, and weighing options for graduate school. While an undergraduate student, she was instrumental in two important initiatives at St. Lawrence, the "green bikes" program and the adoption by the Board of Trustees of environmental responsibility as a recognized core value of the University. She also participated in a University Fellowship and between-semester study conducting research dives with Associate Professor of Biology Brad Baldwin in San Salvador, the Bahamas, which may be where she acquired her enthusiasm for the deep blue sea.

More information: A Web profile of Kira Krumhansl '06

Science at St. Lawrence

Posted: March 8, 2007

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