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Clara cleans tank
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Clara Stahlmann Roeder cleans one of the Aquarium tanks, a daily task for interns and staff. Photo credit: Mary Anne Alliegro, NEFSC/NOAA.

October 5, 2015
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Meet Clara Stahlmann Roeder

Clara Stahlmann Roeder says her greatest strengths are communication skills, enthusiasm and strategic thinking. She got to put all three to use during her first internship experience, which she heard about through the university’s Career Advancement Office. Although she had never been to Woods Hole she was aware of the village since the MBL is an affiliate of the University of Chicago.

An only child whose mother is a doctor of chiropractic, Stahlmann Roeder says her mother’s love of human anatomy and physiology sparked an interest in science for her, although she has always been more interested in animals.

Her favorite part of the Aquarium internship program has been learning what it is really like to work in an aquarium – the daily tasks of feeding fish, preparing food, cleaning tanks. “I am not only learning valuable skills for a future career path, but I am getting to participate and really help in keeping the aquarium running smoothly.”

Like her peers, she experienced some things for the first time: seeing whales on a whale watch, and eating popovers.

I love being surrounded by scientists and knowing that the people you run into on the sidewalk may be in the process of discovering something groundbreaking. I love overhearing conversations about squid neurons and Alvin. I thought the science organizations in the village were very separate, but it was exciting to see them working together for things like the Woods Hole Science Stroll. That was fun!

Reading outside on a hammock she bought in Provincetown, going to the beach and snorkeling were among her favorite ways to relax this summer. Outside of school, she likes to go swing dancing, knit, and explore Chicago neighborhoods.

Her experience this summer in the Woods Hole Science Aquarium internship program “has fostered a love of the ocean and an interest in marine biology. I’m from the Midwest – I’ve never gotten to experience an ocean.”

The most valuable advice she received, or lesson learned, this summer? “Know your audience when writing and speaking.”

Although she is thinking about attending graduate school at some point, she hasn’t decided what to pursue or where, but in ten years wants to be working in a job that allows her to share her passions about biology and zoology with the general public.

I love interacting with the public and would like to combine these interests into a career in education or outreach for a zoo, aquarium or organization such as NOAA.

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