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The Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP)

The Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP) is a 10-week program designed primarily for college juniors and seniors who want to spend a summer gaining practical experience in marine and environmental science. The program consists of a four-week course and a six-to-ten week research project – all in the sea-side village of Woods Hole.

The 2019 program will run June 1 to August 9


Who is eligible

PEP is designed for college students, with priority given to rising juniors and seniors, majoring in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, or geosciences and earth system sciences), engineering, mathematics or social sciences, who have had some course work in oceanography, biology, or marine and/or environmental science.


What is offered

Students may receive four hours of academic credit through the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, or with approval, through their own home institution. Housing will be provided. Participating students will have their tuition covered and will receive a stipend, room and board, and a travel allowance.


What is included

PEP brings 15 students to the village for an integrated program of internships and course work. In 2019, the course will run June 3 through June 28. Additionally, PEP students are required to participate in seminars, workshops, a day-long at-sea experience, field trips, career development activities including the opportunity for informal interviews, and will attend occasional lectures at the participating science institutions throughout the summer.

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What are the benefits

PEP students study, conduct research, and receive training in their areas of interest, working in labs with leading researchers in marine and environmental sciences. PEP provides a first-hand introduction to emerging issues and real-world training in the research skills students need to advance in science, either as graduate students or bachelors-level working scientists. The PEP experience is intended to provide students with an entry into the Woods Hole science community, one of the most vibrant marine and environmental research communities in the world.

The Course

The 2019 PEP course is “Ocean and Environmental Sciences: Global Climate Change.” The course will be framed with modules on different disciplines that include Physical Oceanography; Chemistry; Biology and Geology. The course will culminate in half-day classes on Ecosystems Management (including sociology, economics, public policy). All modules in the course are integrated in that each discipline addresses the theme of Global Climate change. The course is being taught by researchers from the participating institutions: NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U. S. Geological Survey; Sea Education Association, Marine Biological Laboratory; and Woods Hole Research Center. Four hours of credit will be awarded via UMES.

The Internship

In addition to doing course work, each PEP participant will work on a research project at one of the Woods Hole science institutions. The projects employ some of the techniques and explore some of the issues presented in the course. Students will identify their preferred area of interest on their application, and we will make every effort to assign students projects that match their primary interests. At the end of the summer (on Friday, 9 August), students present results from their research in a 15-minute public presentation during a one-day PEP Symposium.

"I loved being part of PEP. This program truly opened most of the doors I'm currently navigating through."

- David Davis, PEP 2017

"I loved this program, I would do it again If possible. It changed my life completely."

- Erica Valdez, PEP 2015

"PEP was an experience that opened doors for me, has helped me to become the person that I am today, and set a foundation for the accomplishments that I have achieved with my career path. I'm highly grateful for my participation back in 2015."

- Berlinda Batista, PEP 2015

"PEP is an excellent program that has greatly assisted me in developing my career experience."

- Lucy Flores, PEP 2010

"I'm very grateful for everything PEP has done to support me and my fellow PEP alums, thank you!"

- Emily Neel, PEP 2016