About the High School Interns

Donald Chao

Although Donald is a senior at Newport High School in Bellevue, WA, he has accrued experience as the Executive Director/Founder of the Ocean Acidification Education Project, Board Member/Fundraising Committee Member at Zero Waste Washington, VP of Business Partnerships at Area 4 DECA, Chief Executive Officer/Founder of Teach My Grandma, and jobs at various other organizations. Despite the fact that his background is in marketing, he was attracted to the internship at the Institute for Systems Biology due to its development of the curriculum module currently titled, Ocean Acidification: A systems approach to a global problem, and his interest in working in a professional lab setting. In his opinion, the most interesting aspect of the internship was the lab work and analysis; he especially enjoyed studying the effectiveness of a wide array of media in fostering growth of Thaps. As for the future, Donald aspires to major in Business Administration with concentrations in management and international business and to work in the biotech/agribusiness or environmental consulting fields.

Outside of work, Donald enjoys kayaking, scavenging for coupons, listening to music, and developing websites. For more information on Donald's non-profit organization, the Ocean Acidification Education Project (OAEP), please visit He can be contacted through email at chaod@protectpugetsound.org and LinkedIn by clicking .



Meredith Carlson

Meredith is a rising senior at Nathan Hale High School. From a young age she has had an interest in paleoanthropology, and more recently in the genetic aspects of human origins. During her summer internship at ISB, Meredith enjoyed improving her basic lab skills  and observing stray eukaryotes under the microscope.

Outside of work, Meredith devotes much of her time to Camp Fire USA, a youth scouting organization. Throughout high school she has worked on leadership and community service projects with Camp Fire, including planning a father/daughter camp and organizing an interfaith community building conference for teens. In her free time, Meredith enjoys swimming, baking and writing creatively.

After graduation this year, Meredith plans to study biological anthropology.

Meredith may be contacted by email at   mer.car@comcast.net.


Raisah Vesteinsdottir

Raisah is looking forward to being a senior at Garfield High School this year. Having been interested in science and math from a young age, Raisah was delighted to have the opportunity to experience biology at a higher level this summer at the ISB. Her favorite part of the internship was learning how collaboration between various fields fuels research and data analysis at ISB. Having taken a marine biology course sophomore year, Raisah found the Baliga Lab’s experimentation to understand ocean acidification to be very interesting.

In her free time, Raisah enjoys hiking, relaxing on the beach with friends and reading murder mysteries. She is part of the executive committee of the Post Outdoor Education program at Garfield, and is a captain of the school’s cross country team. After high school, Raisah hopes to study biology or computational biology in college.

Feel free to contact Raisah through email at rvesteinsdottir@gmail.com.




A Day in the Life of an Intern

This summer, our flexible schedule was filled with a variety of activities. On any given day we might find ourselves doing lab work, interpreting the data, giving a presentation or attending a talk given by one of the ISB researchers. Here's an example of a typical day: