Challenges and Successes to Recruiting Underrepresented Students in a 15-Year Marine Sciences Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at Oregon State University

Itchung Cheung, Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, United States and Kaplan Yalcin, Oregon State University, Geosciences, Corvallis, OR, United States
Since 2004, the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) at Oregon State University (OSU) has established an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Marine Sciences to engage undergraduate students in hands-on research training. The REU site has two locations: HMSC in Newport on the Oregon coast and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) in Corvallis. The ten-week summer research program has grown to 20+ students each year to provide students with a multilayered orientation to the research experience. The program exposes students to several areas, including research methodology, science communication, and the research culture. Under the guidance of faculty mentors and program staff, undergraduates develop an understanding of the research environment first hand through independent research projects, science writing and oral presentations. The program has evolved to include professional development activities such as weekly research seminars, graduate student and career panels, a research ethics component, student-led lab tours, graduate school workshops and other research experiences. In the 15th year of the program, we will share our challenges and successes toward increasing participation in and access to marine sciences for traditionally under-represented students through targeted recruitment efforts.