Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Ocean Systems
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Many Learning Pathways in the Ocean Sciences
The Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) has identified many ‘positive factors’ that influence success for students pursuing STEM careers - including the presence of role models, active mentoring, and exposure to STEM courses. There are many steps in this pathway - from early educational experiences to undergraduate education and higher degrees - and each can be wrought with unexpected challenges.

The webinars below are targeted towards students at different points in their career pathway (undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral students) and contain specific resources designed for the audience in mind. All webinars are co-hosted by IBP and The Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence - Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS) and provide direct access to research-based guidance, live advice from peer panelists and guest experts, and a collection of useful resources. Since 2011, COSEE-OS and IBP have hosted 19 of these webinars, reaching over 800 participants.

For Undergraduates
  • Applying for and Getting Paid to Do Summer Research: In this recurring series (repeated four times so far due to popular demand), presenters from IBP guide participants through a concept map-based presentation highlighting a variety of information and tips that might aid students as they begin to think about applying for paid summer research opportunities. Veterans of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs and NASA summer internships are invited as guest speakers to provide personal experience and advice.
  • Transitioning from 2-Year and 4-Year Colleges to a Career in Ocean Science: This webinar, featuring University of Maine professor William G. Ellis, explores the many career pathways available in ocean sciences, with an emphasis on strategies for transitioning from two to four year college programs. The materials presented during this webinar allow viewers to learn about opportunities that they might transition to as their education progresses. Students considering a career in ocean sciences but coming from many different “core” disciplines are encouraged to visit this page
For Potential and Current Graduate Students
  • Paying for Graduate School: In this recurring series (also repeated six times since first presented), presenters from IBP walk participants through a timeline for applying to and paying for graduate school, and include invaluable tips for finding the right program. An overview of the different types of funding as well as strategies for application are covered. Each webinar features guest speakers who have gone through the graduate school application process to offer their own experiences and tricks for navigating the sometimes-murky waters of graduate school.
  • Graduate Student Education & Outreach: Creating "communities of practice" with his education and outreach efforts, graduate student Lonnie Gonsalves (NOAA) shares his experiences working to bring together graduate and undergraduate students in this webinar. Lonnie’s experience in the aquatic sciences working meaningfully with underrepresented K-12 students in a variety of settings and programs demonstrates how graduate students can be a powerful force in broadening participation and reducing barriers for underrepresented students in the sciences.

For Potential and Current Postdocs

  • Postdoc Webinar Series: This series of three webinars focuses on what it takes to be successful after graduate school and how to obtain a postdoctoral research position. Topics range from searching for postdoc, techniques for negotiation, to strategies for success once in a postdoc position.
Special Topics
These webinars were part of a series on mentoring, which was produced in partnership with both IBP and COSEE Pacific Partnerships.

  • Pathways of Support: This webinar, featuring ocean scientist Dr. Christina De La Rocha (Marine Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Brest, France) focuses on the often changing path that can lead to a career in ocean science and what strategies she used to meet the challenges facing her.
  • Mentoring Underrepresented Students: During his webinar, Dr. Brian Bingham (Western Washington University) shares his personal mentoring stories as well as insights into how to become a better mentor.
  • Sustained Mentoring Communities: Drs. Sharon Ziegler-Chong and Noleani Puniwai (University of Hawaii) illustrate the many ways they might build a supportive community of scientific mentors at their own institutions for underrepresented scientists-in-training.
  • Broadening Participation Resources for Faculty: Staff from the Institute for Broadening Participation give an in-depth overview of tools and online resources for undergraduate faculty. A tour of the IBP "Pathways to Science" website is provided.
Additional Resources
Frequently asked questions about this webinar series.