Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Summer on the Bay (Video)

February 9, 2015

Learning Experience Lets College Students Conduct Real Research on the Chesapeake

For more than 25 years, the Maryland Sea Grant Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program has given college students the chance to see how real science is done. Every summer, groups of undergraduates from universities across the country come to the Chesapeake Bay to learn about life in the estuary and the environmental issues facing it. Here, they conduct their own scientific studies -- following research projects through from beginning to end and investigating a diverse range of topics, such as blue crabs, oysters, and water quality issues. This program is primarily funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional support from Maryland Sea Grant.

In this video, you can hear from several students who took part in the 2014 REU program. They include Gabrielle King, a soon-to-be senior at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania who spent her summer exploring the feeding behavior of young copepods. These tiny crustaceans are barely visible to the naked eye but make up much of the diet for young striped bass and other fish in the Bay. King and her fellow students discuss their research and what they learned during their time on the estuary. For these undergraduates, the REU program was an opportunity to explore up close the concepts they had studied in the classroom -- getting their hands dirty in the sciences.

The REU program is currently accepting applications for its 2015 summer experience. The deadline for all applications is February 20, 2015. To apply or to learn more about the program, visit our website here.

Or you can read "Living the Life of a Marine Scientist," a feature story in the December 2014 issue of Chesapeake Quarterly.


--Daniel Strain