Delve deeper into research this summer at Penn State!

Delve deeper into research this summer at Penn State!

Delve deeper into research this summer at Penn State!


Undergraduate and graduate students with prior research experience have a unique opportunity this summer to engage in an eight-week research program at the research-intensive Pennsylvania State University.

The program will run from June 1 to July 24, 2020, and applications are due on Friday, March 13.The SEAS Island Alliance Bridge Program introduces participants to the various doctorate opportunities possible at PSU.

Mentoring and exposure to marine science career paths and underrepresented minority scientists are key components of the Bridge Program. Each week, students will meet virtually with external, underrepresented minority faculty mentors to learn about other graduate school programs, faculty career paths, and alternative career choices in the marine and environmental sciences. Students also receive mentoring at PSU and UMCES and weekly mentoring from faculty from their home institutions. 

What to expect:2020 seas island alliance bridge program

Week 1 (June 1-5): Students receive a thorough orientation about the Department of Biology and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences who are co-hosting the program at Pennsylvania State University. During the orientation week, students will learn about the resources available to them at the university (e.g. library, the Graduate Writing Center, graduate school funding opportunities, how to apply to graduate school, etc.) and meet key individuals from the university including the dean of graduate students).

Weeks 2-4 (June 8-26): Students will learn about techniques used in marine science with in-depth lectures and bench and computational hands-on training, focusing on coral reef environments. During these weeks, students are exposed to a suite of biological techniques, ranging from molecular (DNA and RNA) to organismal (physiology) levels. Students spend time in the classroom where they learn fundamental concepts (e.g., photosynthesis, coral bleaching, microbial diversity, population genetics) coupled with hands-on training (e.g., microscopy, molecular biology, statistics, and bioinformatics).

Weeks 5-7 (June 29-July 17): Students will complete research rotations with pre-matched host laboratories across campus and carry out small independent research projects that focus on topics relevant to tropical, island settings. While at PSU, students will also participate in an outreach activity designed to strengthen their science communication skills.

Week 8 (July 10-July 24): Students will travel together to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) for an exciting week of experiences on the Chesapeake Bay to include a visit to one of UMCES marine labs (Horn Point or Chesapeake Biological Labs) and a cruise on the UMCES flagship research vessel the R/V Rachel Carson to practice basic oceanographic techniques and experience ship time.

The summer in-residence schedule for the 2020 SEAS Islands Alliance Bridge Program is as follows (may be subject to change):

Week 1: June 1-5: Orientation
Week 2: June 8-12: Medina laboratory (Microbial Interactions)
Week 3: June 15-19: Baums laboratory (Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Reef
Week 4: June 22-26: Iglesias-Prieto laboratory (Physiological Impacts of Climate Change on Reef Organisms)
Weeks 5-7: June 29-July 17: Huck Laboratory Rotation
Week 8: July 20-July 24: UMCES field trip

Apply Now
For further information, contact: Morgan Leon Guerrero at