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MIT Summer Research Program Students Visit USGS in Woods Hole

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Bill Waite gives visiting students a brief talk
Above: Bill Waite (USGS) gives visiting students a brief talk on gas hydrates in the GHASTLI lab. Photograph by Glynn Williams. [larger version]

Claudia Flores gives a short lecture on the geology of Puerto Rico
Above: Claudia Flores (USGS) gives a short lecture on the geology of Puerto Rico before introducing the students to the GeoWall data-visualization system. Photograph by Glynn Williams. [larger version]

A group of undergraduates from across the country visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Science Center last June as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Summer Research Program (MSRP). MSRP is designed to facilitate the involvement of talented science and engineering students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, are members of underrepresented minorities, or are first-generation college students. The program draws sophomores and juniors from around the country to MIT's campus, where they spend the summer working in a research laboratory under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers. As part of their research experience, these students were given the opportunity to visit the six scientific institutions in Woods Hole, Mass., on Saturday, June 24, 2006.

During the day-long tour, the MSRP students visited the USGS Woods Hole Science Center, two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ships, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (part of NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center), a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) autonomous underwater vehicle, the Sea Education Association (SEA) campus, and the ecofriendly Gilman Ordway Campus of the Woods Hole Research Center. In the afternoon, the students were provided information about summer programs, research opportunities, and graduate programs available in Woods Hole.

At the USGS, Glynn Williams led an informative walk through the Crawford Building and spoke about the USGS' commitment to making its information available to interested researchers and the public, and how to make that possible. Bill Waite gave tours of the GHASTLI (Gas Hydrate and Sediment Testing Laboratory Instrument) facility that included a short presentation on gas hydrates peppered with his own research experience. Claudia Flores gave a minilecture on the geology of the Caribbean region, focusing on Puerto Rico and reinforcing her information with the USGS center's GeoWall data-visualization system. Tour organizers reported that of the four afternoon tours students could choose to attend, the GeoWall tour was the overwhelming first choice.

Despite their long day and hectic schedule, the students were enthusiastic, asking challenging questions not only about USGS science but also about research opportunities and career-path decisions. The chance to put a human face on USGS science and to potentially lure bright, young stars into coastal and marine research made for a valuable outreach opportunity.

The USGS participants were Claudia Flores, Bill Waite, and Glynn Williams. The tour was organized by Christopher Jones of the MIT Graduate Students Office and Regina Campbell-Malone of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. For more information about the MIT Summer Research Program, visit their Web page.

Information on the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee is posted on their Web site.

Related Web Sites
MIT Summer Research Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee
Marine Biological Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Research Center

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cover story:
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Mapping the Sea Floor Off Santa Barbara, CA

Research Underwater Sand Waves Seaward of Golden Gate Bridge

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Outreach MIT Students Visit USGS Woods Hole

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Awards USGS Intern Receives Fulbright Scholarship

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Publications usSEABED: Sediment Data for the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

New Coastal and Marine Digital Library

September 2006 Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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