Pre-college Ocean Discovery and Science Program (PODS)

Are you interested in biology, conservation, natural resources, or marine life?
Are you thinking about pursuing a college degree in the near future? 

PODS is a program that helps students attend post-high school STEM programs by providing students with an overview of coastal ecology and conservation, research experience, and mentorship. This program is organized by Friends of the Environment, and the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Lab at the University of Michigan.

The PODS program includes three components:

1. An Introduction to Coastal Ecology and Conservation

Students will attend virtual meetings with research mentors and FRIENDS Education staff. Meetings will be held twice per month, February through May 2022, and will: (1) introduce students to coastal ecology research, (2) provide background on conservation challenges in coastal ecosystems in The Bahamas and beyond; (3) provide background about the importance of higher education for the study of ecology and conservation. 


2. Field Research Course 

Students will spend two weeks (Summer 2022) working side-by-side with mentors on a student-lead research project in Abaco. 

Each day will consist of any one, or a combination of:

     - Mini-lectures provided by research mentors focusing on topics that relate to student research projects.

     - Field-based research activities. Students will work with research mentors to conduct independent projects.          These projects will be directly related to national conservation efforts, or other ongoing research projects            on Abaco.

     - Laboratory-based research activities. Some projects may consist of lab-based activities that will be              
       conducted at the Kenyon Centre in Marsh Harbour.
     - Students will receive a $900 stipend at the conclusion of the field course. Room and board costs will be
       covered by the program.


3. College Application Navigation 

Students will attend workshops and receive one-on-one mentorship and guidance to help them hone their career interests, navigate the application process, and apply to college or any post-high school education. 

The PODS program will provide a stipend and all necessary equipment for the field research course. This program is funded through the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering grant for Increasing Diversity In STEM provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation




Abaco students in 11th or 12th grade, or high school graduates with ambitions of pursuing a college degree.


Must have completed two years of high school math and science


Government issued identification


Two references (e.g. past teacher, previous employer, community leader)


A desire to learn!

Contact us for more info!

Now receiving applications! Please fill out the form below. Application deadline is EXTENDED to December 10, 2021.
Have you ever participated in a FRIENDS program? Select all that apply.
Can you swim in deep water?

Thanks for submitting!