Emma Iovene '24

In Alaska, Listening to Whales
UNH student Emma Iovene

Emma Iovene ’24 is a marine, estuarine and freshwater biology major who spent the summer interning in Alaska for the Sound Science Research College, thanks in part to financial support she received from COLSA’s SOAR Fund.

The SOAR Fund supports undergraduate students by providing stipends that can be used to supplement unpaid internships or pay for transportation to interviews and career events. The SOAR Fund accepts applications year-round. While all COLSA students are invited to apply, applicants with financial need are strongly encouraged.

COLSA: Tell us about your internship.

Emma Iovene: I am a research technician assistant at the Sound Science Research Collective, and my responsibilities include deploying the hydrophone in Juneau, Alaska, conducting data analysis on Raven Pro and comparing vessel noise production and humpback whale calls.

COLSA: How did you find out about the internship?

Emma: I took a course in marine bioacoustics this past semester, and it was brought up there.

COLSA: What attracted you to the position?

Emma: Bioacoustics and being able to identify humpback whale calls from recordings that no one has ever listened to before.

COLSA: Looking back on what you accomplished as an intern, what are you most proud of?

Emma: All of the hours this past semester and summer I put into data analysis, along with travelling alone for the first time to Alaska.

COLSA: What was the most valuable thing you learned?

Emma: Being open minded. You may have learned concepts in one way but listen to others because their point of view just may help you.

COLSA: In what way(s) has this experience impacted you?

Emma: It made me sure that I chose the right major for me, which I am grateful for. I was able to travel to Alaska, being my first time off the East Coast and see my first whales! Truly such an amazing experience that I wouldn't have been able to do on my own.

COLSA: Any advice for students looking for an internship?

Emma: Apply, apply, apply. Internships can be so competitive, especially in the marine bio world.

COLSA: Tell us something you love about UNH.

Emma: How much the professors in COLSA care about their students and that all your peers in the program understand how difficult courses can be.