The Ecosystems Center is actively involved in education in a variety of ways. In addition to teaching in the Semester in Environmental Science, center scientists serve as members of doctoral committees and mentors for postdoctoral scientists and undergraduate interns. The center staff also takes part in a range of community outreach activities to increase public understanding of science.

Semester in Environmental Science

The Semester in Environmental Science (SES) is offered each fall by the Ecosystems Center. SES is a 15-week program in environmental science offered to students enrolled in colleges participating in the MBL Consortium in Environmental Science. More than 60 colleges and universities have approved the SES for credit. Students from non-affiliated colleges and universities may receive credit for the semester through Brown University.

Logan Science Journalism Program

The Logan Science Journalism Program at the MBL, founded in 1986, offers professional science journalists, writers, editors, and broadcast journalists a chance to forget about story deadlines and immerse themselves in the process of basic biomedical and environmental research. The program will introduce fellows to the experiments that scientists conduct, and the measurements they make, to discover the complex ways that added nitrogen alters coastal ecosystems, such as their capacity to keep up with sea level rise and impacts on marine organisms and coastal food webs.

Undergraduate Internships

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other groups, the Ecosystems Center has offered many college students the opportunity to undertake summer projects at research sites. Undergraduates have conducted research projects through NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduate program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Internship program, the Woods Hole Marine Science Consortium or independently. Their projects have ranged from an experiment to determine algae growth in marshes at Plum Island estuary in northern Massachusetts to a study of denitrification in the Arctic tundra in Alaska.

Science Outreach in the Community

Members of the Ecosystems Center staff judge community and state science fairs for students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mentor junior high school students as they research their projects. The center also continues its participation in the Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership, providing assistance to teachers and students in the local school systems.

Ecosystems Center staff members serve on many town committees as well as non-profit private groups such as Falmouth Associations Concerned with Estuaries and Salt Ponds and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and provide sampling and analytical services to the Baywatchers Program of the Coalition for Buzzards Bay.