Summer Research Paying Big Dividends

Mark Theodore Meneses and Amy Chan
Mark Theodore Meneses and Amy Chan

Going into summer before their junior year, Mark Theodore Meneses and Amy Chan were selected to participate in an environmental get-away in Riverhead where they were involved with investigative studies of river systems and estuaries.  Now, both are ‘rising seniors’ and because of their involvement in the Environmental Science Program the summer before, they have been selected to participate in The Western Exploration for Young Environmental Stewards Program.  This will be a fully paid trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming during the last week of September to learn and work alongside scientists and artists studying the ecology of the Grand Canyon.

“The fact that I’ve never been to that part of the country will make it a great trip,” said Mark, who some day, would like to become a molecular biologist, with a focus on genetics. “One of the big highlights is that I will be able to meet with one of my favorite instructors from Bozeman Science, Mr. Paul Anderson.”

Ten students are selected for the program each year, based on their exemplary performance in summer science enrichment programs.  The program is sponsored by the Avalon Park and Preserve, and partially funded by the Simons Corporation. “The program will provide an outstanding opportunity to build on the scientific, leadership and stewardship skills these two students have been developing over the last few years,” said South Huntington STEM coach Ms. Marijean Scardapane.

“With the sciences, it’s one thing to read it in text books or online, but to have a first-hand experience of all the science I’m learning makes it all the better," said Mark. Our other ‘rising senior’ Amy Chan fully agrees with her peer’s assessment. “I never get to travel outside of New York, and it’s exciting to participate in research with wildlife experts in the field,” said Amy who wants to pursue a career in environmental science.

Congratulations to Mark and Amy. We look forward to reporting on the outcome of their trip next fall.