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Estimating age and shell growth rates in Pacific Razor Clams

Age and Growth Rates are particularly determined by the rings on the calcium carbonate shell

Age and Growth Rates are particularly determined by the rings on the calcium carbonate shell

I am investigating the size and age of Pacific Razor Clams on Ninilichik Beach, AK. My field work,  conducted in the spring, consists of hand digging individual clams. By studying age and growth rates of individuals, I will design a model estimating the expected size for the succeeding harvest season. Because my results are likely to be affected by environmental factors I am working closely with two other students, Johanna Gertsch and Sarah Woods. I am also lucky to have the support of the Alaska Pacific University staff, as well as, graduate students and professionals from external agencies. My experience at APU has allowed me to work with experts in my intended field from different  organizations. This project has taught me  a myriad of  useful skills and has the potential to take me beyond an undergraduate, including a possible publication.

Becky Harris: After graduating high school in St. Louis, MO I came to APU to study Marine Biology. Since then, I have developed a strong interest in mollusks and fisheries sciences. Working on clam studies gives me a sense of accomplishment because the results directly affect not only the ecological communities of the North Pacific, but the local communities of Alaska as well. APU’s hands-on curriculum allows me to get into the field and add skills to my resume that can’t be taught in a classroom.

Student, Becky Harris, taking GPS coordinates and elevation levels of Ninilchik South Beach

Student, Becky Harris, taking GPS coordinates and elevation levels of Ninilchik South Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Gregg Harris says:

    I am very proud of the work Becky is doing and the experience that she has obtained at APU. I had the privilege to spend a semester at the Duke Marine Lab during my undergraduate studies and understand the value of immersion education I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment and professional advancement Becky has developed with 4 years of such a quality program. She is an amazing young woman.

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