Internal Perspective

5.25.16- CMSI Grad Student and Postdoc Symposium

By Everett Rubin

cmsi postdoc symposium

Brady O'Donnell presents at the symposium. Photo courtesy of Tessa Hill.

Yesterday (5/25/16) I sat in on the first ever CMSI grad student and postdoc symposium. As usual, my undergraduate self was completely out of place among all of UC Davis’s talented marine researchers. That being said, I was thrilled to be there, and enjoyed every single talk that presenters gave.

Due to the format of the symposium, presenters only had five minutes each to dump upon the audience as much information about themselves and their research as they could. As a viewer, it felt somewhat like I was taking a three-hour crash course on leading oceanography research. Topics ranged from adaptive physiological responses in fish, to coevolution of zooxanthellae and anemones, to the effects of nanotechnology on marine ecosystems. The scope of research that CMSI researchers tackle is immense, and the CMSI Grad Student and Postdoc Symposium was the perfect sampling platter.

While all of the presentations were engaging and informative, PhD student Erin Flynn’s presentation stuck me the most. Flynn researches Antarctic dragonfish adaptations to growing pressures from climate change. Yes, you read right—Antarctic dragonfish. Flynn and her colleagues study out of McMurdo Station on the giant frozen scientist’s playground that makes up the bottom of our planet, and I just couldn’t help myself but feel jealous. I will be reaching out to Flynn to try to set up a Tideline Spotlight to learn more.

Overall, the CMSI Grad Student and Postdoc Symposium was a huge success. Huge kudos to all of the event organizers who worked to put the event together—it seemed to me that everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to share their own research and learn about everyone else’s. I hope more of these type of events are to come.

2.17.2016- Joe Palca Coffee Talk

By Everett Rubin

Joe Palca

Joe Palca. Photo Courtesy of

On Wednesday, 2/17, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a “coffee hour” through CMSI with guest Joe Palca, a science writer for National Public Radio. Palca runs a weekly podcast called “Joe’s Big Idea”, and covers new science research.

We got to ask Palca questions about science communication and his illustrious career, with stints at both Nature and Science. One would think that someone with such a deep background in writing would have had a lifelong passion for it, but Palca claims that he actually hated writing in grad school (while working on a Ph.D. in psychology). He only got into writing after creating numerous small pieces that highlighted interesting aspects of science- which is something Palca feels very strongly about. Palca feels that today’s science writing is far too focused on importance instead of interest, and that this focus is a disservice to readers.

CMSI’s grad and Ph.D student coffee hours are hosted twice a month, and are great opportunities for informal collaboration between students. Keep your eye out in the Tideline Newsletter for the next meeting!

Welcome to Internal Perspective!

By Everett Rubin and Clara MacLeod

Welcome to Tideline’s newest addition, the Internal Perspective blog! Internal Perspective will contain various tidbits about current events and research, and will be written by Coastal and Marine Science Institute writing interns. In this first edition, I think it’s a good opportunity to discuss who we interns are!

The CMSI writing internship program is very new, and employs two undergraduates who share a passion for both writing and marine research. Interns work on creating content for Tideline, CMSI’s website, and various other CMSI related materials.  Our two current writing interns are Clara MacLeod, and Everett Rubin! If you have any question for our interns, please do not hesitate to ask!

Everett Rubin



Everett Rubin has been studying conservation and ecology at UC Davis since 2012, and has worked with and around nature since he was a small child. He is interested in science journalism, and likes to apply his environmental science experience to his writing endeavors.

Everett attended classes at the Bodega Marine Lab in the summer of 2015, and found it to be one of his favorite college experiences. In addition, in the summers of 2013 and 2014, Everett interned in the Environmental Division at the Port of Oakland, and worked with Port Staff to regulate stormwater and underground storage tanks on Port property. He also designed and led an educational program about the Oakland Airport’s history.

Everett will graduate from UC Davis in Spring of 2016. After which, he plans to pursue a conservation based position that integrates his passion for nature.

Clara MacLeod



Clara MacLeod is a 3rd year Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major from Berkeley, CA. She is interested in water quality and resource conservation around the world, especially in developing countries.

Clara started a science writing internship at CMSI in summer 2015. In the past, she has interned for Green Schools Initiative and International Rivers in Berkeley. Currently, in addition to working at CMSI, Clara works for Aquaya, a research and consulting organization dedicated to improving health through clean water innovation.

Clara plans to graduate from UC Davis in Spring 2017 and would like to join the Peace Corps.