Tuskegee students paired with coast scientists for summer internships
The purpose of the program is to diversify the ocean science workforce to reflect the country’s population.
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Five students from Tuskegee University are getting a hands-on educational opportunity this summer working with scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Marine Education Center.
“We’re working together to explore the sea floor,” Jessie Kastler said.
But the purpose is bigger. Organizers hope they’re planting seeds that will diversify the ocean science workforce.
“Minority students seeing other minority students doing this, they might start to say, ‘Maybe I should think about this as an option,’” said Richard Whittington.
“It’s to bring in the new generation of ocean scientists,” said Kastler. “And hope very much that it will include more people to represent the whole United States population.”
Part of the new generation of ocean scientists could include Elijah Logan, who helped map the sea floor.
“We took a three week trip to Johnston Atoll and during those three weeks we basically went around the clock,” Logan explained. “We have people sitting around computers watching data as it comes in and my job aboard the ship was to clean data.”
For these students, it’s an opportunity to experience ocean science in ways they’ll never forget.
“Being able to not just learn about something very in depth about a very specific opportunity, but also live an opportunity. And then not just live it, but follow it up and make it comprehensive is something I wouldn’t have imagined for an opportunity like this.”
The interns will present their work to their peers and mentors this week to complete the summer program.
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