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Gwendolyn Schanker


Gwen Schanker grew up in Saint Joseph, Michigan, a summery beach town inundated by snow each winter. Much of her childhood was spent at Sunset Coast Gymnastics, where she divided her time between practicing new flips and tricks, working on her creative writing while lying in the foam pit, and reading while hanging upside down from the uneven bars.

By high school, she was ready to start doing her work right side up. She attended the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, where she developed a passion for Starbucks coffee while continuing to develop her writing skills. She also found a love for science in her environmental biology class, where she wrote a short story about genetic counseling.

As an undergraduate at Northeastern University, she continued to cultivate her interest in science journalism. You can find her byline in several of Northeastern’s on-campus publications, including The Huntington News and NUScience Magazine, where she served as editor-in-chief. In 2016, she undertook a semester-long internship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and hopes someday to return to writing by and about the ocean.


The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

There are autotrophs, such as plants, that can make their own food. There are heterotrophs, such as animals, that consume other organisms. And then there are curious organisms called mixotrophs, which can do both, switching how they get food depending on the conditions in their environment.

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All the Ocean’s a Stage

All the Ocean's a Stage

“All right, Mr. Brickley, the show begins at two o’clock,” John Kemp announced as he entered the ship’s main lab…

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Let There Be Laser Light

Let There Be Laser Light

WHOI scientists are developing new sensors using lasers to detect methane, carbon dioxide, and other critical environmental gases in the air and under the ocean.

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A Slithery Ocean Mystery

A Slithery Ocean Mystery

It’s an enduring mystery: How do tiny eel larvae make their way from the Sargasso Sea to coastal freshwater estuaries where they grow up?

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The Quest for the Moho

The Quest for the Moho

For more than a century, scientists have made several attempts to drill a hole through Earth’s ocean crust to an interior layer of rock in Earth’s interior called the mantle.

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Shark Tales

Shark Tales

Sharks are some of the largest fish in the ocean, but their movements and behavior have remained largely hidden from people.

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