SGSC's Victoria Baglin to intern at UNF REU Coastal and Marine Biology program
Victoria Baglin, a student at South Georgia State College, will be gaining valuable experience during the summer as part of the University of North Florida (UNF) Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship program. She is currently studying biology in the bachelor's program at SGSC.
Baglin, who is from Fort Pierce, Fla., is looking forward to gaining hands-on practice working with marine ecosystems. "Getting accepted into this program has been exciting news for me," Baglin said. "I am grateful to be given this amazing opportunity and am very eager to be a part of an experience that aligns with my long-term goal of becoming a marine biologist and preserving marine life for future generations."
Conservation and marine wildlife have always been a passion of hers. As a conservation enthusiast, she recognizes the significant role that the ocean plays in the biosphere. She explains, "Since attending South Georgia State College, I have had the pleasure of participating in research on local freshwater ecosystems in which I collected and analyzed properties of water such as pH, dissolved oxygen, dissolved solids and temperature. I presented this project, Freshwater Ecosystems: Profile Depths of a Mimictic, Eutrophic Small Reservoir in South-Central Georgia, in the South Georgia State College Undergraduate Research Symposium, along with several other research topics on separate occasions. Most of these presentations were based on intense literature review, including my presentation on Litter and Conservation, in which I explained the harmful effects that litter has on marine life. Presenting in this symposium has been an important opportunity for me to strengthen my skills as a researcher and communicator, both skills that I hope to continue to develop in this program."
She will be working at UNF under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Rosenblatt. "His group takes part in several projects," explained Baglin. "They include working on blue crab abundance and feeding patterns within the intracoastal waterway, the role of spiders in coastal marsh food webs, the effects of climate change on alligator sex ratios or alligator behavior and physiology within the St. Johns River. My main project will involve analyzing the stomach contents of alligators with the intent of figuring out how the diets of alligators that live on golf courses might differ from more "wild" gators."
The pursuit of a bachelor's degree, supported by her grandparents, Ray and Carol Baglin, has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the experiences that will lead up to her career goals. Baglin also credits professors at SGSC during the application process for acceptance to the program. "Dr. Rosa Guedes, associate professor of biology/ecology and Dr. Robert Potter, associate professor of biology, were invaluable resources for me by assisting me with the application to writing letters of recommendation," said Baglin. "SGSC has played such a great role in helping me to be accepted into this program. All the wonderful staff and educators have been of great guidance to me and have always motivated me to work hard and to follow my dream of becoming a marine biologist."