Undergraduate education and training are tightly integrated into all aspects of SBC research and outreach. Our program includes research and science education experiences through mentoring by graduate students, postdocs, research staff and investigators. Each year 20-30 undergraduate students receive academic credit to participate in an SBC research training program that runs the entire academic year. Students in the program actively participate in the collection, processing and analysis of core SBC data as well as the mentoring of fellow students. Undergraduate students who participate in our research program participate in a variety of hands-on research and training in kelp forest and beach ecology, coastal oceanography, and data management and analysis. SBC graduate students, research staff, and post-docs help train undergraduate REEF interns as laboratory and field assistants and research divers for SBC research. Many of these undergraduate students go on to develop and conduct their own independent research projects that are related to SBC research.
Training at The REEF
SBC’s partnership with UCSB’s teaching aquarium, The REEF, creates obvious opportunities for visitors, but also outstanding experience in public education for UCSB students. Each year more than 50 undergraduates receive hands-on experience in communicating their knowledge of marine ecology to K-12 students and the public. Undergraduate students working at the REEF receive SBC-specific content and traning to support the Schoolyard Program. Through this process, many find a pathway to participate in SBC lab and field research, and the REU program.
Research Education for Undergraduates (REU)
Udergraduates from the SBC program pool and elsewhere are selected to participate in our NSF sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and in several other mentorship programs sponsored by the University of California, including FUERTE, a new NSF sponsored undergraduate research program at UCSB. REU and FUERTE students work closely with SBC researchers on a wide range of topics and most choose to pursue an advanced degree following their undergraduate education.