UOG student joins research voyage mapping ocean floor
University of Guam student Gabriella Piper is participating in a research voyage that involves mapping an area of the ocean floor aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus.
An incoming junior majoring in communication, Piper was part of the first group of students and educators from the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS) program to participate in research aboard the Nautilus. The National Science Foundation funds the STEMSEAS program which aims to provide undergraduate college students with research experience aboard research vessels.
The trip also gave Piper the experience of being on the 211-foot exploration vessel that is owned and run by the nonprofit Ocean Explorer Trust. The nonprofit’s founder, Robert Ballard, is known for having discovered the Titanic shipwreck in 1985.
“When I first applied, I did not expect to get in because of how many people apply to this program every year, so getting the letter of acceptance felt like such a huge accomplishment,” Piper said. She found out about the STEMSEAS program in 2022 as an undergraduate student researcher in the University of Guam’s National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) As a student researcher, she attended a science conference in Puerto Rico in October 2022. On the way to the event, she connected with a STEMSEAS alum and then later discussed the program with outreach representatives at the conference.
“It is because of the (Student Research Experience Program) and the individuals within it that I was able to find this opportunity and learn about the different ways in which I can make a meaningful contribution to the STEM community,” Piper said.
The research voyage Piper participated in set sail from Honolulu to the Canadian province of British Columbia on June 15, 2023.
UOG Sea Grant biologist Leilani Sablan also participated in a research expedition aboard the Nautilus in 2022.
Mangilao, Guam 96913
The University of Guam is a U.S. Land Grant and Sea Grant Institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. UOG is an equal opportunity provider and employer committed to diversity, equity and inclusion through island wisdom values of inadahi yan inagofli'e: respect, compassion, and community.