Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Natividad Chen '13


Natividad Chen '13 has been fascinated by the ocean since scooping up zooplankton during a sixth grade field trip to Bamfield Marine Station in British Columbia, Canada. At Brown, she is a concentrator in marine biology. This summer, she worked with Professor Mark Bertness and EEB graduate student Lauren Szathmary to examine how climate change impacts salt marshes. Salt pans are bare areas within marshes, and their expansion reduces the marshes’ ability to generate essential ecosystem services. Her project involved shading treatments to test whether solar stress drive salt pan formation. She also helped with Lauren’s research which investigated whether drought and elevated temperatures cause pan development. Even though the results from the shading experiments were inconclusive, rain-out and greenhouse manipulations seem to show that the amount of rain and temperature level are key climate variables that affect pan growth. The experiment data has all been collected, but the data still needs to be analyzed for statistical significance. Natividad is from beautiful Vancouver, Canada and loves to draw critters and creatures in her spare time.