Research Experiences for Undergraduates student joins Texas Sea Grant for the summer

June 12, 2019

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Alyssa Walker, an undergraduate student from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, is part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Oceanography. As part of the program, she will spend the summer assisting Texas Sea Grant’s Dr. Pamela Plotkin and Christine Figgener in tagging and tracking sea turtles in Matagorda Bay with the goal of providing better protection for the turtles’ critical habitat.

With her eye on a potential career in research, Walker is excited to gain research experience at Texas A&M University. Her wide variety of interests — including environmental public health, biodefense, and biotechnology — could lead her to many different areas of research in the future.

No matter what career Walker chooses, she hopes to travel to other countries and use her professional skills to give back to communities. She has already taken several mission trips to countries, such as Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Chile, and is looking forward to more.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” Walker said. “When you go on mission trips, you are serving other people, but I find that they are also serving you. Seeing how people in other countries live makes me want to get to know them and give back to them even more.”

Walker plans to graduate in 2021. She participates in a variety of organizations at her college, including a sorority, the club soccer team, the honors program, and the biotechnology and management program.


Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.