Governor’s School Students Complete Research

Governor’s School Students Complete Research

Six students from high schools throughout Virginia — including West Potomac High School’s Hayden McCloud — presented their summer research projects at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on July 17 in front of an audience of mentors, parents, peers, and members of the VIMS community.


From left: Sean Wilms, Hayden McCloud, Valentina Lohr, Peter Aronson, Katrina Napora, and Willow Abshire Sims.

VIMS Governor’s School — administered alongside a similar program at NASA Langley and provided in cooperation with Christopher Newport University — hosts six students who have demonstrated interest in and aptitude for marine science. The four-week program has provided high-achieving high school students with experiences in marine research since 1993.

The students worked with faculty and student mentors at VIMS on a variety of research projects focused on everything from the effect of seagrass habitat on predator-prey interactions between blue crabs and clams, to exploring the relationship between the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Peruvian anchovy fisheries.

Valentina Lohr, a rising senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Alexandria, completed an internship at Maryland’s Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology prior to coming to VIMS. This summer, Lohr worked studied how declining seagrass coverage might influence blue crab and clam populations. Joining Lohr in the VIMS program were Peter Aronson (Blacksburg High School); Hayden McCloud (West Potomac High School); Katrina Napora (Broadway High School); Willow Abshire Sims (Franklin County High School); and Sean Wilms (Ocean Lakes High School).

McCloud researched “Exploring the Relationship between El Nino - Southern Oscillation and Peruvian Anchovy Fisheries.”