Today Sea Education Association, together with the entire Woods Hole scientific community, welcomes 15 students participating in this summer's Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP).
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. Normally, students would reside on the SEA campus for the ten-week research program, which begins with a 4-week course, Ocean and Environmental Sciences: Global Climate Change, taught by Course Director and SEA Assistant Professor of Oceanography, Dr. Ben Harden.
This year, the program will be held virtually, as it was last year. 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 Woods Hole Research Woodwell Climate Research Center. There will also be important career building activities organized by PEP Career Development Coordinator.
Managing the program is Co-Director Onjalé Scott Price and Director of Academic Programs, George Liles. This summer, three PEP alumni also join the staff. They are Deborah Leopo (PEP 2017), Career Development Coordinator, Jailyn Dorsett (PEP 2020), Course Assistant, and Ayanna Butler (PEP 2020) Program Coordinator. This summer, Liles is also running a new program, called IN FISH, that is modeled after PEP;
Scott Price reports that interest in this summer's program was very strong, with ten applications received for every opening. Fifteen students were admitted into the 2021 program. This year, the program is also hosting (virtually) five PEP-II Researchers. This was made possible by a grant obtained by Scott Price and Kelly Luis (PEP 2015), who recently received a PhD in Marine Science and Technology from UMass Boston, from the Woods Hole SeaGrant to bring back PEP alumni to do a summer of research, without the academic coursework. The PEP-II Program is also funded by PEP, the Marine Policy Center at WHOI, and the Woodwell Climate Research Center.
PEP ends August 6th with a one-day symposium at which students present results from their research in a 15-minute oral presentation. This virtual event will be open to the public.
"PEP, now in its 13th year, has become a nationally recognizable and sought-after program. The PEP model is being used to start other programs (IN FISH) and is growing to include PEP-II. We are excited and proud to continue providing this opportunity to the students, and opportunity for the WH science community to learn how to become more culturally competent and more inclusive," said Scott Price.