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Jet Puentes (left) watches as Aquarium curator George Liles shows a crab to visitors at the touch tank. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Woods Hole Science Aquarium
Rinsing off after some husbandry activities. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Woods Hole Science Aquarium

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September 14, 2016
Contact: Shelley Dawicki
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« 2016 WHSA Summer Interns

Jet Puentes

Jet Puentes from Auburndale, Florida, is the only one of his three brothers and two sisters interested in a science career. A sophomore at the University of Chicago, he is interested in evolutionary biology and research into the adaptive traits and genetics of marine animals. Although he began his college career planning to be a geophysical science major with an interest in paleontology, he found evolutionary and marine biology more to his liking.

He learned about the Woods Hole Science Aquarium internship program through the University of Chicago’s Metcalf Internship Program website and applied. It is his first internship during his college years, but “certainly not my last.”  

“Observing necropsies, learning animal husbandry practices, meeting with members of Woods Hole’s scientific community, and performing collecting walks have been the most exciting and fulfilling for me,” Puentes said of the program. “I was very surprised at the connection of all the scientific institutions of Woods Hole, and how closely all members of the scientific community work with each other.”

Puentes says visiting scientists in the various institutions and learning about their research was one of his favorite activities, as was visiting the MBL’s Marine Resources Center and the MBL Library. The internship experience has meant “discovering where my scientific interests truly lie, in evolutionary biology and marine science.”

Among Puentes new experiences this summer were eating lobster and clam rolls, going on a collecting walk, and going aboard a collecting/research vessel. In his free time he likes to play badminton and tennis, swim, and play PC games.

His favorite thing about Woods Hole is “the openness and interconnection” of the scientific community. “I thought scientists worked in isolated groups, not sharing discoveries or research with others for fear or their ideas being stolen. The openness of the Woods Hole community has shown me otherwise, that a social network of scientists is the most effective way to make discoveries and bolster creativity.”

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