University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences Marine Science Program School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment



Marine Science Program University of South Carolina 712 Main Street, PSC 108, Columbia, SC 29208

Send Mail to: 701 Sumter Street, EWS 617 Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Phone: 803.777.2692     Fax: 803.777.6610

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Research Experience for Undergraduates

University of South Carolina, Summer REU Program: Marine Biogeochemistry - From Salt Marshes to the Deep Ocean

Thank you for your interest!  The University of South Carolina is excited to host our second class of the Summer NSF-REU Marine Science program for 2014. The overarching theme of our program is Marine Biogeochemistry - from Salt Marshes to the Deep Ocean.  To check out the program and submit an application, please see our Program Website.


What is "Biogeochemistry"?

Biogeochemistry is the study of interactions between biological, chemical, and geological processes in the environment. In the ocean, these studies often focus on nutrient cycles (like those of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and iron) and the role(s) of bacteria, phytoplankton, and marine animals, large and small, in mediating reactions within these cycles. For example, over the last 3.5 billion years, the evolution of photosynthetic processes in cyanobacteria has resulted in the oxygenated environment in which we live - this shows how microbes (biology) control the chemistry of our atmosphere which, in turn, influences many geological processes on Earth (e.g. weathering of rocks, interactions with the atmosphere). 

Our REU program will run from May 26 to August 1, 2014.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in on-going research projects on a variety of different topics related to Marine Biogeochemistry.  These topics include phytoplankton photosynthesis and growth, bacterial diversity and community function, and nutrient and trace metal cycling.  Over the 10-week period, students will gain hands-on research experience, through developing their own short research proposal, synthesizing and preparing their research for oral presentations, and culminating their research project into a final poster presentation.  In addition to their own research, students will participate in weekly workshops covering topics in professional development, such as: resume building, applying to graduate school, future careers in marine science, and developing quality oral and poster presentations.

All REU students will receive a summer stipend, on-campus lodging, a meal allowance, support for travel to and from Columbia (up to $500) and funds for scientific supplies (up to $500) that can be purchased by the research mentor.  

To apply, please go to our application link on the side toolbar and follow the instructions.  Please make sure you visit the REU Mentor page to choose faculty mentors (up to 3) whose research interests match your own. Along with the online application, all applicants are required to obtain TWO letters of reference, submitted only by the reference writers.  See the "For Reference Writers" link for specific instructions.  


Application Deadline: February 14, 2014