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Girls in Science


This summer, Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are teaming up with Earthwatch Institute on the Girls in Science (GiS) Fellowship.

The week-long fellowship promotes diversity in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) and exposes high school young women from Massachusetts to a variety of marine careers in STEAM.  GiS student fellows work with a predominantly female team of researchers to explore a variety of STEAM-related activities. The cohort of 10 fellows is based on the beautiful Sea Education Association campus with easy access to the nearby WHOI facilities.

Application submissions closed on May 21, 2021. The program is FULL for the 2021 season.

Who is eligible?

  • Young women who are currently sophomores or juniors in a Massachusetts high school

When will it be held?

Two sessions will be offered in 2021

  • August 8 -14, 2021
  • August 15 - 21, 2021*
    * The in-person components of this program are contingent on the current state of the COVID-19 health emergency, which will dictate whether it is in-person, virtual, or a hybrid model.

Fully-Funded Opportunity

This program is free to the fellow. All expenses are paid.

Diversity Statement

We are committed to assembling diverse groups of fellows. This fellowship encourages applicants from groups historically underrepresented in the ocean sciences – especially with respect to gender identity/expression, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.


The information session was recorded on
April 15, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Application deadline EXTENDED until May 21, 2021.

Decision announcements are made in June 2021.

» Download the program flyer (PDF)

» Visit the Earthwatch website

More about the Girls in Science Experience

The cohort of 10 fellows is housed on the beautiful Sea Education Association campus with easy access to the nearby WHOI facilities.

During their week, fellows work with WHOI Research Specialist Laela Sayigh, WHSG Education Specialist Grace Simpkins, and others to investigate marine mammal bioacoustics (sounds).

During this immersive experience, fellows build and test their own underwater microphone (or hydrophone), analyze data of dolphin vocalizations to contribute to marine mammal conservation, and capture the underwater sounds of whales and dolphins vocalizing during a whale watch expedition.

Throughout the week, emphasis is given to introducing the fellows to female role models in STEAM fields and hearing stories about their pathway to a STEAM career. The team will explore challenges that are unique to women in science. In the evening, Earthwatch facilitators help the student fellows integrate arts and science to tell their "Story of Science,” and empower them to share their stories in their own home communities.

About the Program

Hear from the 2019 Fellows


Women in STEM moderated panel discussion

Recorded on Monday, August 24th, 2020, 6:30-8 pm
(View recording - with Spanish subtitles and English captions)


This webinar was designed with high school students in mind and was a collaboration between Woods Hole Sea Grant, Earthwatch Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Each speaker shared the journey they took to reach their current career as well as challenges and highlights along the way. The panel consisted of: 

Laela Sayigh, Marine Mammal Acoustic Research Specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  Laela's research focusses on the social behavior and communication of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). 


Kerry Strom, Marine Operations Coordinator at WHOI.  Kerry is the schedule planner for R/V Atlantis, Armstrong, HOV Alvin, ROV Jason & AUV Sentry and soon to be R/V Resolution.  Kerry is also WHOI’s US State Dept. liaison for marine scientific research applications.


Sarai Zelada, Urban and Regional Planning Master's Student at the University of Michigan and former Earthwatch Program Coordinator for the Girls in Science Program.  As an urban planner, Sarai focusses on how to use city planning as a tool for social change. 


Jennie Rheuban, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Research Specialist at WHOI.  Jennie focuses on the effects of climate change on coastal environments.  She is also the Research Coordinator at Woods Hole Sea Grant.


Amanda Dwyer, Knauss Fellow - NOAA Marine Debris Program. Amanda's graduate research focused on coral physiology in response to bleaching events. After graduating in December, she started a marine science policy fellowship to learn more about the interface between science and policy. 

Women in STEM Panel Discussion (summer 2020)



Grace Simpkins
Program Coordinator


Application deadline EXTENDED until May 21, 2021.

Decisions announced in June 2021.

» Download the program flyer (PDF)

With Support From

Sea Education Association

Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation

Start up support from The Bill and Jane Jackson Foundation