ONLY PEP ALUMNI ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PEP-II
The goal of PEP-II is to: expand upon the existing PEP internship and create a post-baccalaureate focused summer research opportunity in Woods Hole for researchers from underrepresented minority groups to develop the skills, networks, and experiences required to competitively enter the marine workforce or graduate school. The project also partners with public K-12 schools in Falmouth to develop marine and environmental science lesson plans.
PEP-II Researchers receive full room and board (just as with PEP), travel to/from Woods Hole and a $5,000 stipend.
2022 PEP-II Cohort
|Last Name||First Name||Alma Mater|
|Delgadillo||Hector||California State University, Long Beach|
|Thomason||Rhegan||University of Texas at El Paso|
The 2022 program will run from early June to August 13. Start dates may be flexible.
2022 PEP-II Projects
Project Title: Shoreline Resilience and Inlet Management
Mentors and Labs: Britt Raubenheimer and Steve Elgar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Project Description: Many coastal ponds on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and mainland Massachusetts shorelines are drained intentionally (“breached”) several times each year to lower pond water levels that threaten homes and to promote healthy habitats. A problem is that often breaches close before tidal flushing has had sufficient time for water level or nutrient goals to be reached. The PEP student will work with us (Britt Raubenheimer and Steve Elgar) and Postdoctoral Investigator Paige Hovenga to learn about the breaching and natural closing of Tisbury Great Pond, Martha’s Vineyard, and Sesachacha Pond, Nantucket. We will discuss processes that may be involved in the inlet recovery and flushing times, as well as our preliminary observations and numerical model results. The student simultaneously will expand communications with our town manager partners to learn more about the history of the ponds and their prior experiences with breaching efforts, and will make new contacts with managers of other coastal Massachusetts Ponds to broaden perspectives on best practices. Together, we will hone numerical simulations, and explore the breaching strategies that may optimize exchange between coastal ponds and the ocean for a range of ponds and barrier spits, as well as a range of wind, tidal, and wave conditions. Understanding of the full history of strategies and results of inlet breaching, combined with exploration of physical model results, will enhance significantly our understanding of shoreline resilience in these coastal areas.
Project Title: Effects of environmental quality on early stage juvenile shellfish growth and survival: An aquaculture approach using in situ eutrophication and coastal acidification gradients
Project Description: The project focuses on the growth and survival of juvenile oysters and hard clams, and utilizes natural gradients in carbonate chemistry and eutrophication status at five locations within the Three Bays areas in Barnstable (Cape Cod) to directly test their response to eutrophication-induced acidification. The PIs hypothesize that differences in population and individual growth rates between sites will be driven by food availability, degree of acidification (indicated by aragonite saturation state), and dissolved oxygen. The student will assist with field work, lab analysis, data analysis, and community outreach for Year 2 of a two year project. In addition to Dr. Rheuban, the student will be advised by the Marine Program staff at the Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Woods Hole Sea Grant. https://seagrant.whoi.edu/funding-2/all-funded-projects-2010-2020/aquaculture-oa/
Mentors and Lab: Dr. Rachel Jakuba and Dr. Alice Besterman, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Research Interests: Salt marsh ecosystem state and functioning in southern New England, and
ecosystem responses to environmental stressors.
Potential 2022 Project: The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization focused on the protection, restoration and sustainable use and enjoyment of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. We pursue our mission to save Buzzards Bay through research, conservation, education, and advocacy. BBC collects thousands of environmental measurements annually, including ecological, hydrologic, and geophysical assessments. The student will focus on BBC’s salt marsh monitoring that started in 2019, including vegetation, fauna, and elevation data collected from 12 salt marshes around the Buzzards Bay watershed. Potential projects could include analyzing salt marsh vegetation communities over time, spatial comparisons across salt marsh elevation gradients, or spatial comparisons between salt marshes. Primary focus of the student would be on analysis of previously collected data, however, there would be opportunities for the student to participate in some field work.
Mentors and Lab: Dr. Rachel Jakuba and Virginia Parker, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Research Interests: Understanding water quality and how it fluctuates on short-time scales using relatively low-cost sensors.
Potential 2022 Project: The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization focused on the protection, restoration and sustainable use and enjoyment of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. We pursue our mission to save Buzzards Bay through research, conservation, education, and advocacy. The BBC has been monitoring water quality around Buzzards Bay for 30 years. For the last three years, we have deployed sensors that record temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen every 15 minutes. The student will support water quality data collection, including regular checking of a sensor in Quissett Harbor, and analyzing sensor data to answer research questions. Potential research questions include how temperature has increased over time, how variable dissolved oxygen concentrations are in a season and inter-annually, and how dissolved oxygen concentrations change with temperature.