Princeton University Collaborates with BIOS to Teach Marine Biology

SCUBA diving

Each year, as part of the ongoing Princeton University-BIOS collaboration, a group of undergraduate students in Princeton’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) programs visit BIOS for a month-long course in marine biology. Co-taught by Dr. James Gould (Princeton EEB) and Dr. Samantha de Putron (BIOS), the course is designed to cover all aspects of marine biology, with a special focus on coral reefs.

SCUBA diving

For the 16 students that participate, the course offers significantly more lecture and lab time than traditional on-campus courses, with daily lectures and a 3-6 hour lab almost every teaching day, Monday-Saturday. Although intense, this structure allows students to learn about marine ecology and biology across a wide range of habitats while gaining practical experience snorkeling, collecting data, and conducting in-lab experiments and measurements. Students seem to appreciate this, noting, “I learned more in a four-week course than I do in most semester-long classes” and commenting on the “excellent lectures,” the “hands-on learning,” and how it was “extremely interesting to work alongside other researchers.”

Rachel Parks, one this year’s participants, said that, for her, “Bermuda was a great way to see what fieldwork is really like. We got to experience a range of ways to study ecology in the field, and we used a lot of the methods that the researchers who study those subjects use. It was also really rewarding to experience the things we were learning in lecture firsthand. The Bermuda class was a lot of work, but definitely worth it.”

In addition to the summer marine biology course, Princeton students have other opportunities to pursue studies at BIOS, including:

  • Princeton-BIOS Internship Program. Summer internship opportunities are available through Princeton University for undergraduate students to work at BIOS. Interns will work through a collaborative agreement with two faculty members, one from Princeton and one from BIOS. Applications for the PU-BIOS Internship Program are administered through the Princeton Environmental Institute.
  • Princeton University-BIOS Ph.D. Program. The Departments of Geosciences (GEO) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) are seeking applicants for a new graduate program in Ocean Science and Marine Biology. This innovative program combines the best of both worlds: coursework with a broader university community where faculty undertake a wide range of ocean science research activities, and dissertation research conducted at a US-funded oceanographic and marine science research institution. For more information, visit the PU-BIOS Graduate Program website.