Woods Hole


By Beth Liles

The MBL hosted a meet-and-greet barbeque on the Swope Terrace for 23 undergraduates who will spend the summer up to their elbows in research in Woods Hole. Swapping stories around the picnic tables were 13 students in the Partnership in Education Program (PEP) and 10 in the Biological Discovery in Woods Hole/REU program.

PEP and BDWH students, standing, from left: Jacob Cravens (Boston College), Norian Caporale-Berkowitz (Brown University), Rachel Noyes (Ithaca College), Miles Borgen (Western Washington University), Morgan Kelly (Harvard University). Seated, from left: Kari Jackson (Morehouse College), Matt Birk (UNC Wilmington), Michelle Frank (St. Olaf), Emma Tran (University of Texas)

The Biological Diversity in Woods Hole program is a Research Experiences for Undergraduates initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

PEP is a partnership between the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative (whose members include MBL, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USGS Woods Hole Science Center, SEA Education Association, and Woods Hole Research Center) and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Front table, clockwise from lower left: Stephani Fogerson (William Jewel College), Cloe Howard (Spelman College), Andrew Klein (University of Maryland, College Park), Dr. Ambrose Jearld (PEP director; NOAA/NMFS), Joel Ramkhelawan (Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico), Jesse Diaz (UPR Cayey), Onjale Scott (PEP coordinator), Janeea Ventour (Tuskegee University)

Clockwise from lower left: Ann Thompson (Humboldt State University), Lakiah Clark (Tuskegee University), Jan-Alexis Barry (University of the Virgin Islands), James Lewis (University of Maryland, College Park), Al Mensinger (BDWH/REU program co-director; University of Minnesota, Duluth), Cassandra Ruff (Humboldt State University), Jamie Medina (Bridgewater State College), Katie Laushman (Earlham College), Alicia Perez (Humboldt State University)

From left: Allen Mensinger (BDWH/REU director; University of Minnesota, Duluth); George Liles (PEP program manager; NOAA/NMFS); R. Paul Malchow (BDWH/REU director; University of Illinois at Chicago); Ambrose Jearld (PEP director; NOAA/NMFS)

Photo by Pam Wilmot

Hot weather appeared abruptly in Woods Hole this week, and along with it came a flock of early birds. With radios playing and adrenaline pumping, faculty and teaching assistants in Loeb Laboratory began unpacking crates of lab equipment, hooking it up, testing it out, and making sure all systems are go before the first MBL summer courses begin on Monday. There have also been sightings of early-arriving Whitman Investigators in Rowe Laboratory.
 
A warm welcome back to the MBL!

By Beth Liles

Two undergraduates on the MBL campus are excitedly preparing to present talks on their summer research tomorrow: Diara Townes and Victoria Morgan, both students in the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP).

Now in its second year, PEP immerses undergraduates in the rich scientific and academic culture of the Woods Hole research community, and introduces them to leaders and colleagues in their fields of interest. Sixteen PEP students are being mentored in several Woods Hole institutions this summer, including Townes, who is from Hampton University, and Morgan, from Cornell.

PEP student Diara Townes works with MBL veterinarian Amy Hancock in the Marine Resources Center. Photo by Tom Kleindinst

PEP student Diara Townes works with MBL veterinarian Amy Hancock in the Marine Resources Center. Photo by Tom Kleindinst

“This has been the most exciting summer in my undergraduate career,” says Townes. “Not only am I gaining exquisite research experience, but I am also making lasting friendships and amazing professional connections.”

Designed primarily for juniors and seniors interested in marine and environmental science, the PEP curriculum consists of a four-week course followed by six-to-eight week individual research projects. The students are presenting their research findings tomorrow, August 13, from 8:30 AM to 1 PM in the Tilley Conference Room, U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Science Center, 384 Woods Hole Road (Quissett Campus), Woods Hole.

MBL veterinarian Amy Hancock in the Marine Resources Center has been mentoring Townes. They are evaluating a new fish anesthetic on various ornamental species to observe its effects on the animals. Townes is also working with Kristy Owen at NOAA’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium. They are measuring dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the facility’s three main reservoirs and six exhibit tanks to determine if there is a correlation between DO levels and the fish disease exophthalmia (“pop-eye”).

Morgan is working with Ecosystems Center scientist Jim Tang, testing the method to measure carbon dioxide emissions from soils and measuring stem respiration from the Center’s Harvard Forest field site. The project goal is to examine the climate change impact on ecosystems and the feedback of ecosystems to the climate.

Victoria Morgan places soil samples into an oven in order to get a dry measurement of the bulk density of the soil. Photo by Tom Kleindinst

Victoria Morgan places soil samples into an oven in order to get a dry measurement of the bulk density of the soil. Photo by Tom Kleindinst

“I’ve learned more about the oceans and climate change than I expected,” Morgan says. “I’ve met lots of wonderful people, and I’ve had experiences that will remain with me for years to come. I plan on spreading the good news to my fellow Cornellians: PEP is a wonderful program and I really want others to participate in it!”

PEP is a partnership between the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative, a multi-institutional effort to promote diversity in the Woods Hole science community. Members of the Diversity Initiative include NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USGS Woods Hole Science Center, SEA, the MBL, and Woods Hole Research Center.

The science institutions in Woods Hole are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. People from all cultures and all backgrounds can feel welcome in Woods Hole, whether they are visiting, spending a season as students, or spending part or all of their careers working here. PEP is just one of many Woods Hole Diversity Committee efforts. To learn more, go to http://www.woodsholediversity.org/

2010 PEP students and directors: Top Row:  Zachary Williams, George Liles (PEP Program coordinator, NEFSC), Delawrence Sykes, Alexander DeLeon, Nam Siu.  Row 2: Lucy Flores, Emily Motz, Christopher Cepero, Brian Redding, Ambrose Jearld (PEP Program director, NEFSC).  Row 3: Joniqua Howard, Lane Boyer, Melika Uter, Rachel Rochon, Victoria Morgan  Bottom Row: Angela Anorve, Delores Toledo, Anna-Mai Christmas, and Diara Townes. Photo by Sateesh Rogers

2010 PEP students and directors: Top Row: Zachary Williams, George Liles (PEP Program coordinator, NEFSC), Delawrence Sykes, Alexander DeLeon, Nam Siu. Row 2: Lucy Flores, Emily Motz, Christopher Cepero, Brian Redding, Ambrose Jearld (PEP Program director, NEFSC). Row 3: Joniqua Howard, Lane Boyer, Melika Uter, Rachel Rochon, Victoria Morgan Bottom Row: Angela Anorve, Delores Toledo, Anna-Mai Christmas, and Diara Townes. Photo by Sateesh Rogers

By David Gallagher

The 4th of July parade is one of the must-see events of a Woods Hole summer. If you missed this year’s parade, here are a few photos by MBL Club coordinator Daisy Glazebrook.

Students in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the MBL show their colors. The NSF-sponsored program is directed by Alan Mensinger of University of Minnesota, Duluth and Paul Malchow of University of Illinois, Chicago.

Students in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the MBL show their colors. The NSF-sponsored program is directed by Alan Mensinger of University of Minnesota, Duluth and Paul Malchow of University of Illinois, Chicago.

Course assistants from the Children’s School of Science and their walking volcano.

Course assistants from the Children’s School of Science and their walking volcano.

"Uncle Sam" (MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy) leads the parade.

"Uncle Sam" (MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy) leads the parade.

SPINES (Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics and Survival) participants on the march.

SPINES (Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics and Survival) participants on the march.

MBL Communications interns Daisy Glazebrook and Elizabeth Kelly refreshed parade-goers with watermelon slices.

MBL Communications interns Daisy Glazebrook and Elizabeth Kelly refreshed parade-goers with watermelon slices.

Denise LoydA grad student, a post-doc, and a visiting scientist walk into a lab. What happens? Well, better science! Better, that is, than for a group composed of all post-docs, or all grad students, or all scientists from the same institution, according to Denise Loyd (left), an assistant professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Loyd, who studies the effects of diversity in groups, presented her research last week in a talk sponsored by the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative.  Loyd provided evidence that the presence of diversity in a group strengthens discussions in which final group decisions are made. Groups in which a majority of members fall into one category (based on race, background, institution affiliation, etc.), while a minority fall into another, put more time and thought into their conclusions.

We might assume the benefits of diversity in groups are solely attributable to the unique perspectives of the minority members. However, Loyd’s research shows that the simple existence of diversity can alter group dynamics in such a way that brings out different, positive behaviors in majority members, such as showing greater openness to others’ ideas.

Loyd also emphasized the importance of seeking out the unique strengths of members who may have lower perceived status in a group, such as undergraduates working in a lab with graduate students and post-docs. Her talk will no doubt prove useful to Woods Hole scientists and other community members seeking to strengthen group efforts. It also might help explain why the peer-to-peer dynamic in the MBL’s courses—where students problem-solve real-world research problems alongside some of the world’s top scientists—is often so energizing and productive.

Loyd’s talk was part of a Woods Hole Diversity Initiative event series called  “Synergy and the Group; the Hidden Power of Diversity.” For more information on upcoming events, visit http://www.woodsholediversity.org/.

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