Pre-college Ocean Discovery and Science Program (PODS)
**Registration for PODS 2024 is now OPEN!**
Are you a student in grade 11 or 12 living in The Bahamas?
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 2024, 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 one week (Summer 2024) 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 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.
**Please note**: The number of positions for the program is not set but classes have ranged from 5-9 students. Applicants will be accepted based on merit, interest and enthusiasm about learning field ecology, ability to get to Abaco. Funding may be available to support transportation costs for students from outside of Abaco.
Bahamian students in grades 11-12
Must have completed two years of high school math and science
Bahamian government issued identification
Two references (e.g. past teacher, previous employer, community leader). *Please note: references cannot be family members.*
A desire to learn!