USF Making Waves REU


USF Making Waves REU Flyer

REU 2024-2026

Making Waves: Science Communication and Interdisciplinary Ocean Research Experiences at USF, College of Marine Science

This project will create an immersive ocean science Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) for 30 students, 10 per year (3 years), with different academic backgrounds (both STEM & non-STEM; rising sophomores, juniors, & seniors). It will expose, train, and educate students in the discipline of oceanographic research and Science Communication.

The program will take place at the USF College of Marine Science and kicks off during the summer of 2024. The principal investigators are Dr. Ana Arellano and Dr. Jennifer Collins, from the USF School of Geosciences. Arellano led CMS’ first NSF REU supplement program in Summer 2019 with support from Dr. David Naar and Mr. Bernard Batson from the College of Engineering. Collins has 20 years of experience teaching and mentoring undergraduates and has served as PI on the Weather, Climate, and Society REU (2017-2020) and as senior personnel on the NSF Hurricane REU (2007-2012).


  1. To provide an immersive transdisciplinary research program where REU participants will have the opportunity to develop research skills and apply them to key questions in oceanography, by matching students with one faculty mentor and one graduate student co-mentor at CMS and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Participants will gain a better understanding of the inter-disciplinary nature of oceanographic research and the relevant field of Sci Comm.
  2. To provide students with training in scientific communication through partnerships, including those with the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication (DJDC) and Poynter Institute of Media Studies, so each student can learn the importance of translating their scientific research findings to understandable messages for public consumption.
  3. Broaden participation in the geosciences by recruitment of underserved and underrepresented undergraduate students.
  4. Include students from non-STEM majors and early career (e.g., rising sophomores) to encourage recruitment and retention in STEM fields, especially Oceanography.
  5. Promote professional development.

Student activities will be divided into two area of focus, with 80 % (4/5 days per week) dedicated toward research projects and the remaining 20% toward enhanced experiential activities, including professional development and Science Communication workshops, experiential learning fieldtrips, and cohort building activities. All REU participants will participate in a research cruise to Tampa Bay to gain shipboard experience.

Groups of two-three REU participants will be paired with a faculty mentor and a graduate student co-mentor. Additional mentors will include PIs, Science Communication Mentors from DJDC, and REU Alumni Mentors from the CMS’ first NSF REU supplement program in Summer 2019.

In late May of 2024, 10 will students arrive at CMS. In June, REU activities continue and in late July, participants present at CMS and campus wide symposia. Post REU, the mentor-mentee interactions will continue to finalize conference presentations and papers. Participants are also funded to attend a national conference. 

Senior personnel/Mentors:

  1. Dr. Brad Rosenheim
  2. Dr. Isabel C. Romero
  3. Dr. Larry Dishaw, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine
  4. Dr. Frank Muller-Karger
  5. Dr. Mark Luther

There will be an opportunity for all CMS faculty members to participate.

Science Communication Mentors:

  1. Dr. Mark J. Walters
  2. Dr. Stephen W. Song

The program team acknowledges additional support on this proposal from Brad Rosenheim, David Naar and Kristen Kusek.

Making Waves REU 2024:

We are currently seeking undergraduate scholars from all majors for summer 2024 research focused on the health of the oceans, global climate change, and science communication. REU program will be hosted at University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, FL. (May 19-July 26, 2024)

Benefits include:

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Majors: 

  • Communications, Journalism
  • Physics, Chemistry
  • Biology, Microbiology
  • Geosciences, Geology, Marine Science
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering, Applied Mathematics
  • Environmental Science, Industrial Biotechnology

Here is more information on the application process and eligibility

Funding for this REU site is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE-2244285, REU Site: Making Waves: Science Communication and Interdisciplinary Ocean Research Experiences at USF, College of Marine Science)  

REU 2024 Timeline