Undergraduate Research Program

Katie Bigham

Bigham, Katie 150x200
Majors: Oceanography, Earth & Space Sciences: Geology
Mentor: Deborah Kelley, Oceanography

Contact: bighamkt@uw.edu

Current research project: Interpretation of the Relationship between Benthic Fauna, Geologic Distributions, and Methane Seeps at Southern Hydrate Ridge, Oregon Continental Margin

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
I am working to quantify the biologic community hosted by a methane seep site off the coast of Oregon, called Southern Hydrate Ridge. This is done by analyzing photos collected at the site by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). I am using the data to assess the biologic diversity and abundance, as well as investigating the relationship between the biota and the local chemical and geologic processes.

What is the most exciting and/or rewarding aspect of your undergraduate research experience?
For me, one of the most exciting things about being involved in research is all of the other opportunities it opened up for me. Because of my involvement I’ve had the chance to live and work at sea during the summer, participate in conferences full of world experts, and take classes off campus.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Be persistent. It can be disheartening to be rejected for a position or even to never hear from someone you’ve contacted but there are so many opportunities out there that you will find the right fit as long as you keep looking.