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Broadening Participation in Ocean Science

As we investigate one of Earth’s largest carbon fluxes, we are working to engage students of all ages in understanding the functioning of the ocean ecosystem. Consistent with our mission, each of our initiatives furthers goals for recruitment, retention, and inclusion of individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds in the ocean sciences by leveraging the strengths within C-CoMP science and expertise of senior education personnel. Our education and diversity initiatives are designed to multiple entry points into the ocean sciences, thereby broadening access to and participation in ocean science research.

Expanding Ocean Literacy

Ocean literacy resources are underutilized in U.S. K-12 curricula, despite these resources being high-quality, comprehensive, and low-cost. K-12 teachers rarely include ocean science in their curricula, despite its central role sustaining the health of our planet. A collaborative team of C-CoMP researchers are conducting a national study, titled MARINE: Mapping Attitudes and Resources in Ocean Science Education, to understand the factors that influence teachers’ ability and desire to cover ocean science concepts in their classrooms. The results of this study will inform future work to widely integrate ocean science into K-12 education and provide baseline information against which future trends can be compared.

Undergraduate Programming

Research experiences support undergraduates in developing their scientific knowledge and skills and making decisions about pursuing graduate education and careers in research. Yet, access to undergraduate research in the form of internships is limited and inequitable. C-CoMP researchers are broadening participation in research by partnering with educators across the country to develop and teach course-based research experiences (CUREs). CUREs engage all students who enroll in a course in doing research, not just a select few who get access to internships. C-CoMP is also building capacity within and beyond the Center for equitable and inclusive undergraduate research through its professional development offerings and blog series.

Postbaccalaureate Programming

Access to research experience, especially in the ocean sciences, is limited. Individuals who are interested in ocean science research may complete their undergraduate degrees without having access to in-depth training, professional development, and broad networking that they can leverage to pursue ocean science research careers. C-CoMP aims to address this gap through its Bridge-to-PhD Fellowship Program (B2P). This two-year, cohort-based program supports the transition of B2P Fellows who have undergraduate degrees and an interest in ocean science research careers into rigorous, research-based MS and PhD programs.

Postdoctoral Programming

C-CoMP provides a unique environment for advanced research training through full integration of research, education, and interdisciplinary teamwork in a culture of equity, inclusion, and open science. To engage the next generation of scientific leaders in this distinctive environment, C-CoMP hosts Postdoctoral Fellows who significantly advance the Center’s goal of promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the chemical and microbial processes that govern the surface ocean carbon cycle. C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed as a cohort and actively participate in the Center activities that build and sustain the community.

Want to learn more about C-CoMP’s efforts to broaden participation in the ocean sciences? Please contact our Education Coordinator Victoria Centurino and Diversity Coordinator Erin Dolan.