Why study on the Semester in Environmental Science Program?
The Semester in Environmnental Science Program (SES) is offered by the Ecosystems Center, the ecological research arm of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), an international institution for research and education in biology founded in 1888. In addition to MBL's permanent scientific staff of over 100, the Ecosystems Center is staffed by 13 senior scientific personnel who collaborate on more than 30 federally funded research projects.
The goal of the center is to investigate the fundamental processes linking organisms with their environment and apply the resulting knowledge to resource management. SES Program students participate in two core lab and lecture courses, one in Aquatic and one in Terrestrial Ecosystems, one elective, two seminar series, and an independent project.
Both of the core courses cover the fundamentals of ecosystem science in the context of five major environmental issues, describing linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and featuring both field and laboratory work. Students select one of three specialized electives offered each semester, providing an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a specific area of ecology, such as aquatic chemistry, microbial methods, or Mathematical modeling. Two seminar series feature of weekly presentations by nationally distinguished scientists and science writers.
After the end of formal coursework, student teams devote full time to research projects growing out of the core course laboratory and fieldwork. The semester concludes with oral presentation of projects, which are also presented in writing both as a scientific paper and in journalistic format suitable for a lay readership.
Housing is provided in the MBL dormitory. Cultural and recreational activities are available in the Woods Hole-Falmouth area and on Cape Cod.
Open to all majors and may be of particular interest in these subject areas
Competitive GPA, course background in biology and environmental studies, faculty recommendations.