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UDaily: Scientific cruises, fieldwork part of undergraduate experience for CEOE students

UDaily: Scientific cruises, fieldwork part of undergraduate experience for CEOE students

Junior Meghan Owings spent last summer at the beach, but not sunbathing or swimming. She was studying populations of mole crabs, reef-building worms and other marine life, learning different scientific techniques along the way.

“I loved it,” said Owings, who conducted the fieldwork as a summer intern in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). “It definitely confirmed that I’m in the right field.”

Owings has the opportunity to continue the work this fall by spending a semester at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, along with a dozen fellow undergraduates majoring in marine science at CEOE. The Semester-in-Residence Program has grown rapidly since the major was introduced two years ago, offering students hands-on research experience and advanced coursework.

Students live in the Daiber Campus Housing near campus and take classes on marine biology, coastal field biology and marine invertebrate biodiversity. Interaction with faculty and graduate students give them exposure to life as a working scientist.

The students regularly get to see underwater robots in action and take part in scientific cruises aboard the University’s research vessel, the Hugh R. Sharp. Owings and other students from the Research Experience for Undergraduates program tagged along with faculty adviser Doug Miller, associate professor of oceanography, on the Sharp for several days late last July.