June 17, 2022

2022 Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP) Students Return to Woods Hole

In a welcome return to in-person learning, last week 17 students participating in this summer’s Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP) arrived on the SEA campus.

Created by the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative and the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee in 2009, PEP is a 10-week summer program designed to promote diversity among the Woods Hole science community. Students reside on the SEA campus for the ten-week program, which begins with a 4-week course on climate change taught by Course Director Dr. Ben Harden.

Coursework will be followed by six weeks of research projects mentored by scientists at partner institutions: The Northeast Fisheries Science Center, The United States Geological Survey-Woods Hole, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Woodwell Climate Research Center, as well as by new supporting institution, the Buzzards Bay Coalition. The program’s academic partner is the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Among the students is Monét Murphy of Savanah State University, who is majoring in Marine  and Environmental Science. She described the program so far as “fast paced!” and “phenomenal.”

Monét will study the larval stages of organisms found at hydrothermal vents under the mentorship of Dr. Lauren Mullineaux, Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Just returned from a short cruise on the SSV Corwith Cramer, she said the voyage provided memories she’ll recount for years to come. Her career goal is to do field research, perhaps one day aboard the submersible Alvin!

Alex Figueroa, a recent graduate of UMass Boston with a degree in Environmental Science, is also in this year’s PEP program. Alex is interested in biological oceanography and molecular toxicology, and will be studying water quality in fisheries with her mentor, Dr. Scott Large at NOAA.

Alex found the short cruise aboard the Cramer to be “eye opening,” despite an initial bout of sea sickness. She said the experience helped her gain a deeper understanding of where she wants to go with her career. She looks forward to making personal and network connections in Woods Hole, and plans to apply to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.

Managing PEP is Co-Director Onjalé Scott Price and Director of Academic Programs, George Liles. Hector Delgadillo (PEP ’21) is the Resident Advisor. The program also hosts three PEP-II Researchers:  Hector Delgadillo, Rhegan Thomason (PEP ’21), and Ayinde Best (PEP ’20).

" We are so excited to have the PEP students and PEP-II Researchers in person this summer! While we are back to our regularly scheduled field trips, we have decided to keep the career development activities virtual so we can continue to engage PEP alumni on our panels. After two years online we have a renewed appreciation for the impact that being in Woods Hole for the summer has, while continuing the virtual aspect we learned to value," said Scott Price.

PEP ends August 12th with a one-day symposium, held at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), at which students present results from their research in a 15-minute oral presentation. This event will be open to the public.

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications | 508-444-1918 | dkarlson@sea.edu | www.sea.edu

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