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The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey hosted a Federal Career Panel for student interns to learn more about pathways to federal science careers and the research conducted at USGS and NOAA. 

On June 29, the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center held a Federal Career Panel for students in the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Student Fellowship (SSF) Program. Multidisciplinary USGS and NOAA scientists at different career stages, ranging from less than a year in federal service to over 20 years, each discussed various pathways to federal science careers, as well as challenges and highlights of their work. The event was held outdoors on the Quissett Campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and had over 40 attendees.  

The panelists included Dr. Larry Alade, Supervisory Research Fishery Biologist, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA; Dr. Adrian Garcia, Postdoctoral Fellow, WHCMSC, USGS; Sophi Kuhl, Physical Scientist, SSF 2020, WHCMSC, USGS; Jin-Si Over, Geographer, WHCMSC, USGS; Catalina Martinez, Regional Program Manager, NOAA Ocean Exploration; and Andre Price, Marine Resources Management Specialist, PEP 2012, SSF 2014, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA. 

 

Group of people sitting in chairs outside listening to the standing person speaking
Dr. Larry Alade, Supervisory Research Fishery Biologist, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA presenting at the Federal Career Panel in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on June 29, 2022.
Group of people sitting in chairs outside listening to the standing person speaking
Dr. Larry Alade, Supervisory Research Fishery Biologist, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA presenting at the Federal Career Panel in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on June 29, 2022.

 

After the official panel discussion was over, attendees and panelists were able to take advantage of this in-person event and mingle and make connections that can be challenging to establish in virtual spaces. 

The WHCMSC is committed to improving diverse representation and equity in science. Each summer, scientists at the center mentor students through a variety of programs, such as PEP and SSF, as well as the City College of New York/City University of New York partnership and the USGS/National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Cooperative Summer Field Training Program. Through this mentorship, students gain experience, advance skills, and interact socially and scientifically with their cohorts and the Woods Hole community. 

Group of people sitting in chairs outside listening to the standing person speaking
Catalina Martinez, Regional Program Manager, NOAA Ocean Exploration presenting at the Federal Career Panel in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on June 29, 2022.

In 2009, the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative started PEP—a multi-institutional program between six Woods Hole scientific institutions and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The program consists of a four-week course in global climate change and a ten-week research project. It is designed primarily for college juniors and seniors from underrepresented groups in environmental and ocean sciences who want to spend a summer gaining practical experience in coastal and marine science. 

In the Summer Student Fellowship program, all Fellows work on a project selected in collaboration with their mentor(s) that will provide meaningful results in one summer. Project topics span the vast spectrum of research in ocean sciences and engineering conducted at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the WHCMSC.  

Thanks to the dedication of these internship programs and mentors, year after year students gain skills and experience valuable to advancing their education and their journeys to becoming scientists. The WHCMSC will continue to organize events, such as this Federal Career Panel, and offer additional support to their interns to provide them with information, opportunities, and connections that can help them choose a career path, apply to jobs, and obtain a job in their chosen field.