Internship and Service Affiliate Program

The NMC's Service Affiliate and Intern Program recruits motivated and talented individuals who are interested in volunteering their time to work on significant projects. Service Affiliates may be retired scientists, university and high school students, or individuals wanting to make a career change. Service Affiliates join the NMC to understand specific scientific research, to acquire hands-on experience in laboratory research, or to enrich their education.

What do Service Affiliates and Interns at the NMC do? Many work on various research projects in our biological laboratory and greenhouse. Current projects include constructing a plant growth-chamber to maintain a sub-ambient CO2 atmosphere for the study of metabolic pathways, research on separating two algal strains, and experiments aiming to increase the photosynthesis and growth rates of algae and varied plant species.  Service Affiliates receive hands-on experience with fundamental bio-lab equipment such as the autoclave, centrifuge, conviron growth chambers, fume hoods, micropipettes, weighing instrumentation, electrophoresis machines, and in some cases the vacuum pump and helium gene gun. Service Affliates working in the biolab learn about biology on a macro and micro level, both helping researchers with their gene experiments, and also looking after plants in the greenhouse.  They gain professional training to be a lab assistant/technician, to continue in the field of alternative energy or plant biology research.

The NMC also has Service Affiliates who work in Outreach and Community Relations. Working as a part of the development team in Community Relations they assist with building relationships in the community, fundraising events and activities, conference logistics, press releases, mailings, and coordinating sponsorship opportunities for the NMC. This job attracts individuals who want to network, keep up their writing skills and familiarity with public administration and communications.

Service Affiliates also act as docents, and after gaining experience from the NMC scientists, lead or assist in leading tours of the biological laboratory and greenhouse. The NMC believes and important part of our outreach program is hosting tours for those interested, and we provide tours to university and K-12 classrooms. These tours teach about what we do regarding algae, plant, and biofuel research. These tours include not only local Los Alamos schools, but educational institutes from all over New Mexico.

Check out our job announcements if you are interested in a NMC Service Position or contact the NMC Community Relations Office.

Current NMC Interns and Service Affliates:

Drake Merians is a sophomore studying at Santa Fe Preparatory School.  He particularly enjoys science and math classes and applies his learning to his work at NMC.  Working primarily with Dr. Sathish Rajamani as a volunteer, Drake is focused on separating two algal strains.  He also helps with other projects in the lab as needed.  He hopes to enrich his education and understanding of biology and genetics as well as gaining experience in laboratory research.
Dr. Jeanette C. Velasquez Guzman got her undergraduate degree in Biology from Peruana Cayetano Heredia University in Peru. She obtained her master and PhD degrees from The University of Groningen, Netherlands. She moved to Los Alamos in 2013 and started pursuing her scientific research at New Mexico Consortium in 2014. She is currently working as a volunteer at NMC and her work focuses on projects related to Algal bioengineering and strain characterization. Dr. Velasquez Guzman’s is primarily working alongside Dr. Sathish Rajamani in developing bioengineering tools for algal biocontainment and crop protection.

Jaime Guerra has a bachelor’s degree in biology and previous work experience in environmental research. As a volunteer at NMC, he works primarily with Dr. Sowmya Subramanian on an analysis of Arabidopsis Thaliana seeds in wild type and transgenic plants, and with Dr. Tatiana Vinogradova-Shah on a study of light-avoiding behavior of chloroplasts in Camelina Sativa. He also helps with other projects in the lab as needed. His goal is to get training in basic molecular biology methods and to gain experience in a laboratory research setting.

Punam Kumari received her M. Tech. in Agricultural Biotechnology, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. Her interest is to follow her passion for plant science and biotechnology, and she has joined NMC as a volunteer to pursue this goalShe is working primarily with Dr. Sowmya Subramanian as a volunteer. Her work emphasis is on determining the photosynthetic efficiency of transgenic lines generated in Arabidopsis thaliana and Camelina sativa through gas exchange measurments using LICOR.  She is also getting trained in molecular biology techniques like DNA/RNA isolation, PCR, RT-PCR etc. Punam is keen to apply her learning for research at NMC.

Shannon Flynn is currently assisting Dr. Natalia Friedland with Camelina sativa research at the New Mexico Consortium.  She has analyzed field trial data; planted C. sativa with modified photosynthetic antenna; and is learning the sequencing of variants of chlorophyll oxygenase enzyme as well as characterizing antibiotic kanamycin resistance of wild type C. sativa.  Prior to joining the NMC, Shannon worked over 20 years as a staff scientist for several contractors in the Department of Energy’s Environmental Restoration Program at the Idaho National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Since she has a B.S. in Soils and Plant Resources from UC Berkeley, Shannon enjoys working in the lab and greenhouse with the NMC’s biofuels researchers.



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