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Program Overview

The Seattle Colleges are pleased to present our Marine Science Research in Puget Sound for Community College STEM Students.  This NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) provides students from 16 regional community colleges the opportunity to conduct authentic, paid, research with a variety of agencies and institutions over the course of a year.  The program begins in June with a kick-off research cruise and an opportunity to form teams and select research projects.  Students then continue their work online and return to Seattle for regular research cruises, short classes, and meetings with their mentors.  Participants prepare posters and present them at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring.

Research Projects + Partners

Students will be placed in teams and matched with a project that suits their academic preparation and interests.  Each student team works wtih an outside, subject matter expert and mentor from a variety of local agencies and institutions including the Ocean Inquiry Project, the University of Washington School of Oceanography, and the King County Environmental Lab.  With their mentors, students may explore a variety of questions including:

  • How accurate are numerical models of Puget Sound circulation?

  • Are deep-water thermal fluxes influenced more by tidal or wind-driven mixing?

  • What are the abundances of ecologically important zooplankton taxa in Puget Sound over seasonal and inter-annual periods?

  • What are the depth-depended nutrient concentrations at the two largest wastewater treatment outfalls in Puget Sound?

  • What are the nutrient concentrations on a seasonal basis near sources of storm water run-off?

Program Details

Students participating in this year-long research experience should be able to commit to at least six trips to Seattle to collect data, participate in mini-courses, and meet with their research mentors.  Participants will receive a $3600 stipend, paid in quarterly installments.  Program expectations are outlined below:

     Month Type of Participation Activities
        June In-Person    Three-four day orientation and training including a research cruise
        July-April In-Person and Virtual    Regular meetings on the 2nd Saturday of each month, online research course, and cruises as needed
        May In-Person and Virtual    Presentation preparation; UW UGR Symposium
        June In-Person    Two-day cruise; Mentoring new students

Application Information

Students wishing to apply for this competitive program should complete the following:

1.  Official Application

2.  Unofficial Transcripts

3.  Two letters of reference, at least one from a STEM faculty mentor addressing your potential as a researcher and your committment to the program.

4.  A one-page personal statement which addresses the following:  your time remaining until transfer, your interest in oceanography, marine science, ecology or environmental science, your intention and commitment to pursuing a career in research, any educational challenges you have overcome. 

Please email your completed application materials to Ann.Murkowski@seattlecolleges.edu


Student Work2015-2016 REU cohort




Seattle Colleges REU students have tackled a number of important research questions!  The 2016-2016 cohort focused on 1) the impact of combined sewer outflows on toxins in marine sediments, 2) characterizing the distribution and abundance of a toxic diatom, 3) identifying novel marine bacteria that produce antimicrobial compounds or quorum sensing inhibitors, and 4) testing marine invertebrates for the production of quorum sensing inhibitors.  Check our Facebook page to see more of these students in action!





Funding for this REU site is provide by the National Science Foundationís Division of Ocean Science's located in Arlington, VA. The NSF contact for this program is Lisa Rom, elrom@NSF.gov or 703-292-7709. NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.