Partnership in Education Program

PEP students measure trees along the WHRC educational trail.

In 2004, the six scientific institutions in Woods Hole – Sea Education Association, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, and Nation Ocean and Atmospheric Administration – pledged to work together to create “pathways of opportunity” to attract a broader spectrum of scientific talent to the ocean and environmental sciences through the Woods Hole Scientific Community Diversity Initiative. Through this pledge, the Partnership in Education Program (PEP) was developed. PEP brings undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups to Woods Hole for a summer program entitled “Ocean and Environmental Sciences: Global Climate Change.”

PEP students look at the soil layers below the forest floor.

PEP partners’ students with scientists from amongst the six Woods Hole institutions where they participate in a rigorous, hands-on independent research experience which provides them with the skills and network necessary to continue on career paths in ocean and environmental science. As a multi institutional program, students are exposed to a variety of career paths in science, with differing science disciplines and institutional organizations, such as private, nonprofit (SEA, WHRC, MBL) and government (USGS, NOAA). This broadens the students understanding of career paths in science.

As part of PEP, Dr. Wayne Walker, Dr. Alessandro Baccini and Kathleen Savage teach a course in measuring above and below ground forest carbon, as well as providing a field experience in the forest located on the Ordway Campus. Students learn to identify trees, measure their diameter and utilize established allometric equations to determine the quantity of carbon stored in the trees. We have a soil pit within the forest, where students are introduced to how carbon is stored and released from below the forest floor. PEP students gain a broad understanding of the forest and its carbon balance.

To learn more about PEP, or how to apply for this program visit: