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PEP student doing DNA extraction DNA extraction in the marine biology portion of the course. Photo credit: PEP/NOAA
PEP students doing field work Hands-on activities in the lab and in the field are part of the one-month course in global climate change, which incorporates all oceanographic disciplines. Photo credit: PEP/NOAA
students at a cookout with a table of food PEP students enjoy a cookout at Sea Education Association campus housing. Photo credit: PEP/NOAA
student checks experiment with small aquaria Working in a lab on the research project component of PEP. Photo credit: PEP/NOAA

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December 6, 2016
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Undergraduate Summer Science Internship Program Aimed at Diversity Offered in Woods Hole

Program Dates June 3 - August 12, 2017

The Partnership Education Program (PEP), a project supported by six science institutions in Woods Hole, Mass., is seeking applicants for a 10-week summer program that combines undergraduate course work with research in marine and environmental science.

Launched in 2009, PEP is designed to promote a diverse scientific community by recruiting talent from minority groups that are under-represented in marine and environmental sciences.

PEP completed its eighth summer in 2016, hosting 15 students from 13 different colleges and universities. Ten of the colleges and universities were new to the program, bringing the total to 77 colleges and universities, including 23 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and/or Minority Serving Institutions, and 121 students who have participated in PEP since 2009.

The Partnership Education Program is designed for college students, with priority given to entering juniors and seniors, majoring in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, engineering, or geosciences and earth system sciences) who have had some course work in oceanography, biology, or marine and/or environmental science. The program includes a four-week course and research internships lasting six to ten weeks.

PEP students live together on the Sea Education Association campus and participate in group career building activities such as seminars, workshops, field trips, and at-sea experiences. They also attend lectures at participating science institutions throughout the summer, and participate in local community activities.

The 2017 PEP program will run June 3 (travel day June 2) through August 12. The PEP course, “Ocean and Environmental Sciences: Global Climate Change,” is offered for credit through the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and runs from June 6 to July 1.

The course is taught in Woods Hole by research scientists from local science institutions. PEP students will conduct research projects that employ some of the techniques and explore some of the issues presented in the course. At the end of the program in mid-August, the students will present results from their research in a 20-minute public presentation during a one-day PEP seminar.

The 2017 program will cover tuition and room and board, as well as provide a travel allowance and a stipend. Deadline for applications is February 17, 2017. The 2017 PEP Class will be announced in mid-March.

Application information and reports on previous programs are available on the Woods Hole PEP website (

PEP welcomes applications from students of all backgrounds. Students from groups under-represented in marine and environmental sciences are especially encouraged to apply – this includes African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific Island, and Alaska Native students.

PEP is a project of the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative. Participating institutions are: NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Marine Biological Laboratory, Sea Education Association, United States Geological Survey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Woods Hole Research Center. The Woods Hole Diversity Initiative's primary academic partner is the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

For further information, contact PEP Director George Liles at NOAA Fisheries Service ( or 508-495-2318) or Dr. Paulinus Chigbu at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore ( or 410-621-3034).

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