Discover Your Island

Melinda Martinez

Outstanding Islanders

Photo of Melinda Martinez

Exploring the Ocean Depths

Islander graduate student Melinda Martinez, who is currently working on a Master of Science in Environmental Science, is proud to be of the few students nationwide selected as an Ocean Science and Mapping Intern for the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) internship program. The prestigious internship allowed her to sail aboard Exploration Vessel Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel operated by the OET, while investigating biologic, geologic, and archaeological sites, and exploring and characterizing a variety of seafloor habitats across various depths in the Gulf of Mexico. Research activities on Nautilus were streamed live to the public, who were then able to interact with the crew on-board.

Martinez came to the Island University to obtain her master’s degree after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Texas in Austin.

"When I first attended college, I was actually a Mathematics major, but as soon as I found out the University of Texas had a marine biology program, I switch immediately,” said Martinez. “The experiences through the marine science program at the University of Texas lead me to the environmental science program here at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.”

As an Ocean Science and Mapping intern aboard the Nautilus, Martinez assisted in data management during dives by recording operational events.  She also took captures from the Remotely Operated Vehicle cameras, logged samples obtained during dives, and participated in scientific discussions by answering Nautilus viewer questions.

“I really enjoyed working out at sea and being a part of a famous exploration,” said Martinez. I like the fact the dives are streamed live so you can really hear how excited we get as we watch the exploration,” While not diving, Martinez helped compile and write dive reports, process and archive samples, and create metadata for both dives and processed samples.

“I hope to continue in the area of research and development as a coastal geologist for an agency or organization involved in restoration and environmental monitoring,” said Martinez about her future plans. “After this internship, I may even pursue another degree in deep-sea sediments.”