REU Site: Research Internships in Ocean Sciences (RIOS)

  • Taghon, Gary (PI)
  • Zimmerman, Timothy T.D. (CoPI)
  • Able, Kenneth (CoPI)

Project Details


This award provides renewed funding for a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Rutgers Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences and Rutgers University Marine Field Station. The Research Internships in Ocean Science (RIOS) program will support ten students each summer for three years during a ten week summer research internship. Through independent projects and team research experiences, students will focus on process-oriented concepts and techniques applicable in any marine ecosystem. Students can choose to focus on a wide variety of research topics and technologies including remote sensing, ocean observatories, autonomous vehicles, numerical modeling, and molecular biology. The faculty and research facilities at IMCS allow undergraduates to explore these technologies to understand marine ecosystems.

An initial five-day orientation introduces students to ongoing research, focusing on the Raritan River-Raritan Bay and the Mullica River-Great Bay systems. The two estuaries provide a sharp contrast in their human impacts on coastal ecosystems. The orientation includes two days at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, with hands-on experience in the coastal LEO-15 research area, and on the Mullica River. During the first week students also consult with mentors, and learn how to formulate a research question and write a proposal. Other orientation activities include workshops on effective teamwork and an online course on responsible conduct of research. Ethics training will be supplemented by group discussions of case studies. Students make oral progress reports of their research in a mid-program workshop. Discussions of careers in ocean science and when and how to apply to graduate school take place towards the end of the program. All participants receive instruction on how to write up and analyze their data, and how to prepare a poster for the final poster session. Students complete questionnaires and concept maps at the beginning and end of the program. Additionally, educational research methodologies are used to provide insight into how learning takes place during the internships. Support provided by NSF and DOD includes funding for student stipends, student travel to and from the site, student housing and meals and some administrative costs.

The site is co-funded by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.

Effective start/end date5/15/114/30/15


  • National Science Foundation: $410,080.00


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