The Otter Point Creek Alliance and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland (CBNERR-MD) co-sponsor a summer research internship. Internships are open to qualified undergraduate students to conduct a summer research project within the Otter Point Creek Component of CBNER-MD. The Maryland reserve is one of 29 Reserves throughout the country that serve as field laboratories for the betterment of coastal zone management through research, education, and stewardship.
Otter Point Creek is an ideal site for a broad range of research topics with a diversity of habitats. Students can work with the Park Manager to develop their own research project from the topics listed below:
- Environmental Assessment of HaHa Branch, Cove and mudflats—Develop a baseline profile of a tributary of Otter Point Creek and adjacent mudflats containing a state rare wetland plant species in advance of possible upstream development, for restoration and remediation efforts.
- Trends in emergent vegetation– A data analysis project, looking at how Emergent Vegetation Survey sample plots have changed over time, utilizing data sets from 2008 to 2020. This project is low on fieldwork and high in priority and accessibility. Virtual-friendly.
- Vegetation Mapping– Utilizing technology to capture imagery that can be used to map vegetation communities, both submerged and emergent, with mapping software. Updating the wild rice and phragmites mapping project last completed in 2012.
- Snakehead invasive species research—Distribution survey utilizing paddleboard for access, or could investigate population reduction techniques, or conduct gut contents study.
- Microplastic Entrainment in Submerged and Emergent Vegetation—Build on the microplastics research of 2019 and 2020 to characterize the presence, location, and transport of microplastics in Otter Point Creek.
Anita C. Leight Research Interns will receive research support and mentoring from trained personnel. They receive a stipend as well as access to research equipment and supplies.